Scott Smith, president of CreditRepair.com, warns consumers to be careful when online shopping this holiday season. He points to a recent report by ACI Worldwide that online fraud attempts rose 30% in the last year. While total online sales are expected to be up 11% to last year (totaling $83 billion), this increased online activity is the perfect opportunity for fraudsters to steal consumer information every time they checkout. Smith concedes that it is almost impossible to stop identity theft, but the damage it does can be minimized with the right precautions.
If consumers suspect their information has been compromised, they should consider retaining a credit-monitoring service for 24/7 censoring. In addition, Smith suggest the following safeguards:
Strong Passwords: Shoppers should change their passwords often and ensure they are comprised of numbers, letter, and symbols. Most companies require passwords be at least 10 characters long. Plus consumers should avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts.
Use a Secure SSL Server: Consumers should make sure the websites they are using begins with https://, (note the “s”), which means that the website has protocol in place to enable secure communication of personal information.
Try PayPal: PayPal provides an additional layer of protection by using credit information through a third party which lets creditors verify the purchase without jeopardizing customer information.
Both consumers and retailers must prepare for the spike in card-not-present fraud. Mike Braatz, Snr. VP of Payments Risk Management at ACI Worldwide, calls 2015 the riskiest season for retailers. As the holiday season comes to a close, consumers should fight identity fraud by first checking their credit reports and disputing any anomalies on the report. Otherwise, identity fraud victims will be saddled with debt that may be unsurmountable.
Many consumers are in debt due to careless spending and identity fraud. As a result, credit repair services are in high demand to help improve credit scores. EMB will help get your credit repair business started. eMerchantBroker.com is the #1 payment processor to help establish your credit repair merchant account in as little as 24 hours.