Tis the Season... For Online Shopping

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Use these tips to protect your personal information as you shop online this holiday season.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! More of us will turn to online shopping this holiday season than ever before. In fact, Forbes reports e-commerce holiday retail sales to grow 25-25% to $182-196 billion in 2020. For the 42-62% of us that intend to do all of our holiday shopping online this year, we need to be extra vigilant to protect our personal and financial information.

Cyber criminals and hackers continue to improve their various online scams, and falling victim to their schemes will definitely steal your holiday joy. Keep these tips in mind to shop responsibly all year long.


Always topping the list of ways cyber criminals take advantage of the unaware shopper is through phishing.

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails or other electronic messages pretending to be from a reputable company in the hopes that the victim will share personal information, such as passwords or card numbers.   

Be aware that phishing messages can be sent through internet advertisements, social media advertisements, email messages, phone messages, or text/SMS messages. Always be vigilant! Google the URL to see if there are any reported scams. Beware of ads that push a sense of urgency, or deals that appear too good to be true. Use extra caution with retailers that encourage the use of non-secure payment methods, such as: wire, bank or international funds transfers, money orders, pre-loaded gift cards, and cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

If you are unsure about an email’s or advertisement’s authenticity, you should independently verify it, delete it right away, or just not click on it.

Don’t fall victim to a scam by doing your own research before making an online purchase.

  • Visit a company’s website directly through your internet browser, rather than clicking on links in emails or online ads.
  • Protect your payment card numbers. You can use Apple Pay with your Bank of Bartlett debit card or consider using PayPal. This can protect your account numbers from prying eyes. Plus, you don’t even have to take your card out of your wallet!
  • Check your bank statements more often during this time period than you might otherwise. Download the Bank of Bartlett mobile app to quickly check charges anytime. From the BoB mobile app, you can control your BoB debit cards in real time, set card and merchant limits, turn your card on/off, and get real time spending alerts.
Online scams may be becoming harder to detect, but keep these suggestions in mind during the busy holiday season. If you think the Grinch might have stolen your personal information, contact us immediately. Our customer care department can help you stop a compromised debit card and report fraudulent charges.

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