CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — Amazon prime day begins today, but bargain hunters won't be the only one shopping online. Sales like today’s are also a prime hunting ground for identity thieve
Online shopping peaks during the holiday season. To avoid being a target during this time, Corpus Christi Police department Financial Crimes Detective, Marcus Garanzuay points out obvious and less known ways people can protect themselves when shopping online.
"Be weary of unfamiliar websites, check them out first before you make any purchases on them,” said detective Garanzuay.
If shopping public, and using public wifi, he says you should use a virtual private network or a VPN. Which gives you online privacy by creating a private network from a public internet connection.
"Be very weary of making purchases on public WiFi,” said detective Garanzuay.
Shoppers should tread carefully with unfamiliar websites, said Garanzuay.
Bigger name retailers regularly use safeguards to protect against fraud. A few shoppers we spoke to said they prefer in-person shopping, but that Covid-19 doesn't always allow it this year.
"I like to shop old style, hands-on but maybe I will do a little online, I don't know,” said shopper Gloria Garcia.
Shopper Candi Duke said, “you know because of Covid, I got used to shopping online, became more comfortable with it, and actually this is the first time being at the mall since they reopened.”
Detective Garanzuay says that 6 out of 10 US credit or debit cardholders save their card number online or on mobile apps despite safety concerns.
Shopper Dinisia said, “just look into your accounts to make sure you have that proper security to make sure you don't get identity theft."
"It's up to the individual whether or not to save the number so they do not have to refer to it each and every time but it does carry a risk,” said detective Garanzuay.
Forgetting personal items in a vehicle is another way criminals are able to steal financial information. Be sure to always remove your purse, wallet and all account information from your car.