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Don't let cybercriminals ruin your festive shopping spree. Here are some tips on securing your digital wallet and ensure your Black Friday haul is filled with deals, not deceit.

Digital Wallet Scams

Scams targeting Apple Pay users
  • The user receives a text message to advise they need to re-register their card in order to use Apple Pay.
  • The text message contains a link that the user can click on, redirecting them to a page where they will be asked for their full name, address, date of birth, and contact details.
  • Users are then asked to provide their sort code, account number, 16-digit card number, card expiry date, and the 3 security digits on the back of their card.
Scams targeting Google Pay and other digital wallet users
  • Users receive a call from someone claiming to be from their bank or credit union.
  • The fraudster will discuss false unusual activity on your account, and advise you need to add your card to a new security system called 'Wallet Pay'.
  • The fraudsters tell users they'll receive a text message shortly, and they'll need that code to register for the 'Wallet Pay' service.
  • If you are contacted either by text message or by a phone call with any of the activities listed above - do not engage, this is a scam.
Safeguard Your Digital Wallet
  • Consider your surroundings and use your smartphone or mobile device discreetly.
  • Do not use mobile wallet services to conduct financial transactions over an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
  • Never leave your smartphone unattended in a public place. Don't leave it visible in an unattended car; lock it up in the glove compartment or trunk.
  • The police may need your smartphone's unique identifying information if it is stolen or lost. Write down the make, model number, serial number, and unique device identification number (either the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) or the Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) number). Some phones display the IMEI/MEID number when you dial *#06#. The IMEI/MEID can also be found on a label located beneath the phone's battery or on the box that came with your phone.
  • Review the service agreement for the financial account used in your mobile wallet to find out what will happen and who to contact if your smartphone is stolen or lost, or if your mobile wallet application is hacked.
  • Monitor the financial account used in your mobile wallet for any fraudulent charges.
  • Choose a unique password for your mobile wallet. Should your smartphone be lost or stolen, this may help protect you from both unwanted charges and from theft and misuse of your personal data.
  • Install and maintain security software. Apps are available to:  Locate your smartphone from any computer;  Lock your smartphone to restrict access; Wipe sensitive personal information and mobile wallet credentials from your smartphone, and make your smartphone emit a loud sound ("scream") to help you or the police locate it.
  • Adjust your "locked screen" display to show your contact information so that your smartphone may be returned to you if found.
  • Be careful about what information you store. Social networking and other apps may pose a security risk and allow unwanted access to your personal information and mobile wallet data.
What to do if your digital wallet or smartphone is stolen
  • If you are not certain whether your smartphone or mobile device has been stolen or if you have simply misplaced it, attempt to locate the smartphone by calling it or by using the security software's GPS locator. Even if you may have only lost the smartphone, you should remotely lock it to be safe.
  • If you have installed security software on your smartphone, use it to lock the device, wipe sensitive personal information, and/or activate the alarm.
  • Immediately report the theft or loss to your wireless carrier. You will typically be responsible for any charges incurred prior to when you report the stolen or lost smartphone. If you provide your carrier with the IMEI or MEID number, your carrier may be able to disable your smartphone, and your mobile wallet services, and block access to your personal information and sensitive mobile wallet data. Request written confirmation from your carrier that you reported the smartphone as missing and that the smartphone was disabled.
  • If your smartphone or mobile device was stolen, also immediately report the theft to the police, including the make and model, serial, and IMEI or MEID number. Some carriers require proof that the smartphone was stolen, and a police report can provide that documentation.
  • If you are unable to lock your stolen or lost smartphone, change all of your passwords for mobile wallet services and banking accounts that you have accessed using your smartphone service.

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