CHICAGO (CBS) — It feels like we say this every year: online shopping is expected to shatter records this holiday season. At this point in 2020, some stores aren’t accepting cash and many consumers don’t feel comfortable touching a keypad.
Sitting at home may feel safer, but there are people on the prowl.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory shows you how to keep your shopping secure.
Cash was king. Now shoppers are avoiding it like the plague.
“During the pandemic, we’ve already seen incredible growth in the use of contactless,” said Jodie Kelly, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA).
That’s the payment method where consumers tap a card or phone at the register, skipping the grimy keypad.
The technology has been around for more than four years. Security is still a top question.
“There is built in fraud protection,” Kelley said.
That makes education a top priority for ETA this holiday season.
So, what exactly happens when you tap?
“What gets transmitted is not your credit card number, but a token that a thief can’t use for anything else,” Kelley said. “That token is sent to the credit card company, which validates it, and sends back information to the merchant.”
Using your mobile wallet adds an extra layer of security.
“Because you have to open your phone. Whether it’s a passcode, or with a fingerprint, or other biometrics,” Kelley said.
But getting presents in-person isn’t exactly an essential activity, and Chicago is now under a stay-at-home advisory.
“We are going to see an explosion of online shopping,” said Governors State University professor Bill Kresse, better known as Professor Fraud, who also predicted a boom in online scams.
You’ve heard it before, but beware of very legitimate looking emails that seem like they’re from a retailer you use.
“In years past, we could say look for grammatical or typographical errors,” Kresse said.
Now fraudsters are more sophisticated, so look out for tricky cyber alerts, such as warnings of a problem with an order.
“If it’s a Christmas gift to your dear Aunt Betty, you’re going to click on that without thinking, because you’re concerned about what might be wrong,” Kresse said.
Another big no-no? Don’t save credit card information online or in apps. It’s a pain, but you should type all that info in each time you buy.
Otherwise, that could be the gift that keeps on giving to hackers.
Professor Fraud suggests ignoring emails about online orders and instead checking for updates in your account with the retailer.
Visa said overall contactless payment use in the U.S. has grown 150% since March 2019. ETA has issued a guide to contactless payment.
Meanwhile, the payments industry will spend over $10 billion by 2023 on advanced fraud prevention and detection technologies – a figure higher than any other industry globally. The technologies tokenization, biometric authentication, end-to-end encryption, and secure messaging protocols, ETA said.