Heritage Bank urges consumers to stay safe online this Christmas

With the busy festive season now upon us, Heritage Bank is urging consumers to take simple security precautions to avoid being the victim of online scams this Christmas.

7 December 2018

With the busy festive season now upon us, Heritage Bank is urging consumers to take simple security precautions to avoid being the victim of online scams this Christmas.

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said, “Cybercriminals are especially active during peak periods like Christmas. 

“Online shopping can be a lot of fun and can help you easily compare and purchase products from the comfort of your own home. However, there is a higher risk of online fraud and scams during heavy shopping times like Christmas.

“Whether through fake websites, scam emails or phony promotions, these criminals are quite savvy in the lengths they’ll go to steal your identity, and your money,” Mr Lock said.

“That’s why it’s really important to safeguard your personal and financial information whenever you’re shopping online or simply checking emails.”

Heritage Bank offered some of their top tips to stay safe online during the festive season and beyond:

  • Do not click on links or respond to emails that ask for personal information, user names and passwords. These often lead to fake websites designed to capture personal information or install malware on your device.
  • If you are unsure of the legitimacy of an email or promotion, call the organisation directly to check whether or not any communications you receive are genuine.
  • Keep your anti-virus up to date on all PCs and Mobile devices and conduct regular scans.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple sites.
  • Don’t overshare on social media. Check your social media privacy settings and avoid posting personal information that will put you at risk.
  • Don’t send your bank or credit card details via email to pay for purchases. Only pay via a secure web page that has a valid digital certificate. It should have a padlock symbol and an address starting with https://

Mr Lock said, “Christmas can already be a stressful time without the added hassle of scammers trying to trick you out of your hard earned dollars.

"Remember, if in doubt, don’t give it out!

“If you notice any suspicious activity on your bank account, notify your financial institution immediately.”

For more details about reporting and identifying scams and fraud, visit the SCAMWATCH and Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network websites.