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Protecting yourself from cybercrime during the COVID-19 pandemic

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When you enter your financial information into a website, do you ever stop to think about how safe it is? If you don’t, you should. Rates of cybercrime attempt and financial fraud have skyrocketed this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to be aware of these things, because if you haven’t been hit with an attempt to steal your information, you may soon.

Travis Ledbetter from Arvest Bank has a few tips to keep your information safe.

Here are some recent scams Ledbetter says has been going around:

1. "Phishing is always something to watch out for. Scammers will use email or text to trick you into giving them your sensitive information by directing you to click a link. The page they send you to could look exactly like your bank’s website, but may have a few minor differences."

2. "Lately, there have been text messages from random numbers going out claiming to have found a UPS, FedEx or Amazon package, and asking you to click a link to claim it. This is a phishing scam."

3. "Hackers are constantly performing breeches on businesses who store a lot of consumer information. Make sure that when you buy something online the website is secure. You’ll see a padlock icon by the website’s URL if the page is secure."

4. "If you are connected to public Wi-Fi, cybercriminals can use the connection to break into your network and steal your information. Be sure to ONLY connect to WIFI networks that you know are secure."

Here are some ways to help protect our financial information:

1. Never submit your financial information or social security number on any suspicious looking website. Make sure a website is secure before entering in your information – remember to look for that padlock icon.

2. Be mindful of calls from random numbers claiming to be your cell phone provider, mortgage company, car warranty provider, or internet provider.

3. Stay up-to-date on the most common cybercrimes happening right now.

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Coronavirus and election-related scams are prevalent right now. Never click on a link sent to you by an unknown number or email address.

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