The holiday season is here. While many take this opportunity to be grateful, share with others, support local small businesses, or just be celebrating, others see the holidays as a way of trying to separate workers from their money by throwing ‘too good’. to be true ‘diets. The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers tips for the holiday season so that you can enjoy more of the holiday cheer and hopefully none of the seasonal scams.
Be vigilant and protect yourself from scams. Most cases of identity theft or scams start with cybersecurity breaches that can be avoided by updating software and downloading blocks of malware. Research your options and protect yourself this holiday season as some scammers use the holiday season, including Cyber ââMonday and Giving Tuesday, as their next payday. There are steps you can take to safely support these causes or buy online.
Also, be careful when responding to email or phone requests for information, as these are often veiled attempts to obtain important and private information, such as your credit card or social security number. . Scammers are even ruthlessly trying to capitalize on the global pandemic with COVID-related consumer scams. Being intentional in the way you share your personal and private information can help protect your bank account and your identity.
Businesses can also research how to best protect their operations against ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that can restrict access to a computer, including a company’s hard drives, until a ransom is paid. To protect your business, enable strong spam filters for emails, download antivirus and anti-malware programs, and use firewalls.
At DATCP, we serve as a resource for handling consumer complaints and inquiries from Wisconsinites that report scams and fraudulent activity. Although the DATCP does not have authority over cybercrime, we work with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on education and awareness and can refer cases to them as necessary. .
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or other scam, report it to us at datcp.wi.gov. Our team will continue to educate consumers on how to protect and prevent identity theft and other scams, as well as deal with consumer inquiries and complaints submitted to us. Remember to do your part to protect yourself against possible fraud. Have a safe holiday season.
Randy Romanski is Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection