Tis the Season to Be Safe Online! Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Information or Money

December 20, 2016
• Posted in

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today reminded mobile-savvy consumers to be cautious when using a mobile device to buy holiday gifts or to make end-of-the-year charitable donations. With mobile shopping and mobile giving on the rise, it is especially important for Oregonians to be vigilant when using their phone or device to make a financial transaction this holiday season.

“Oregonians are extremely generous during the holidays. While it is so easy to buy a gift or make a donation with the swipe of a phone, it’s also just as easy for the Grinch to steal your information—or even to trick you into donating to a fake charity. No matter how great the deal or the charity seems, we all need to be vigilant this holiday season. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make sure you are cyber safe all year long.”

Tips to protect you from online fraud:

  • Only shop from secure online sites. Look for “https” in front of the website URL.
  • Avoid public and unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Instead, wait to make your purchase from a secure and password protected connection.
  • Use a credit card. Debit cards are less secure online since they link directly to your checking account.
  • Avoid unsolicited e-mails, text messages and pop-up ads from charities or retailers.
  • Only give to registered charities. Search Oregon DOJ’s database of registered charities to make sure the charity is registered in Oregon.
  • Check with the IRS to make sure your charitable gift is tax deductible, and ask for a receipt.
  • Say “no” to emails or texts that pressure you to make a donation. Take your time to decide if a charity is right for you before donate.
  • Never wire money or make a donation on a pre-paid card.
  • Watch out for imposters. Bogus charities often use similar names or logos as more reputable charities.
  • Be skeptical about deals on unfamiliar websites, or sites that advertise extremely low prices. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!


Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002