GarrisonPro Shares Statistics and Tips on How to Use Credit Cards Safely to Protect Private Information
Pinellas Park, FL (November 19, 2020) – Scientists recently announced that the second wave of COVID-19 has arrived as demonstrated by cases spiking across the globe. Cybercrime was already on the rise when the pandemic first broke. Hackers saw it as a gold mine due to increased professionals working remotely and students distance learning. Now, with the latest number of infections being released, hackers will not be going away anytime soon. Just as it has impacted nearly every other aspect of our lives, COVID-19 primes the holiday shopping season for massive fraud, especially as retailers attempt to capitalize on shifts in consumer behavior created by the crisis.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, theft and fraud cost retailers $62 billion in 2019. The scams and schemes likely to be seen over the coming weeks and months threaten to be far greater. One of the most reliable ways to anticipate a rise in fraud is during periods of predictably-irregular behavior by consumers because fraudsters emulate this behavior. The holiday shopping season is a perfect cover because consumer’s buying trends become spontaneous and unpredictable. At a time when consumers are facing holiday purchases, life-altering health, and financial situations, fraudsters have been quick to concoct schemes designed to use desperation as a means of distraction. In moments of weakness or confusion, individuals are revealing even the most sensitive data such as one-time passcodes. This privileged information ensures that a criminal can bypass corporate security in mere seconds to complete the fraud. When equipped with the right information, even the best contact center agents have no reliable means of identifying impersonators.
On Black Friday in 2019, more people shopped online than in stores – 142.2 million. This year, it is predicted that 65% of shoppers will choose to buy products online instead of in-store to avoid crowds, while 64% will choose to purchase online simply for the comfort of shopping from home. It is expected that 66% of shoppers will increase their online purchases this year. Due to the pandemic, 75% of all retailers have been offering discounts for weeks, and even months, which is a far cry away before Black Friday. As such, 50% of 2020 holiday shoppers have started shopping over the last six months. Holiday online spending will surpass a whopping $189 billion in 2020 – up 33% from last year. COVID-19’s unmistakable influence on commerce has changed the way we shop, perhaps for good.
With more online shopping taking place than ever before as well as a huge increase in spending, credit card use will be monumental. Consumers need to be more aware than ever before making purchases. Specialists at GarrisonPro are ready to sing, “It’s the most fraudulent time of the year.” Joe Pilliod, Founder and CEO of GarrisonPro, advises that people should be skeptical of fake websites and fraudulent apps, watch out for seasonal scams and spam phone calls, and shop only the sites they know. Use a credit card versus a debit card, keep software updated, do not autosave information, avoid public wi-fi, use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, and go directly to the source of purchase. Consumers would benefit from keeping a close eye on their statements, monitor their credit card accounts closely, use virus protection, and never give personal information out online.
Taking on the role of the Grinch in order to assist in keeping consumers safe will result in a pleasant and happy holiday season for all.
GarrisonPro is a cyber security, compliance management, and computer support service company founded by Joe Pilliod, a 16-year telecommunications and cyber security specialist from the US Air Force and Department of Defense at MacDill AFB. GarrisonPro serves the Tampa Bay region and beyond. For more information, visit www.garrisonpro.com.
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