255 W. Uwchlan Avenue 
Downingtown, PA 19335 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Yelp Instagram

We’re Here Today For Your Tomorrows

Auto Insurance AUTO Read More
Homeowners Insurance HOME Read More
Business Insurance BUSINESS Read More
Life Insurance LIFE Read More
Health Insurance HEALTH & EMPLOYEE BENEFITS Read More
Motorcycle Insurance MOTORCYCLE Read More

It was a day like any other. ERIE Customer Don O.* of Pennsylvania received a text from Amazon letting him know that his package had been delivered.

The only problem? He hadn’t ordered anything — an identity thief had.

Don later discovered that the thief had also opened up a fake credit card in his name and used it to purchase an Amazon Prime membership in addition to products from the popular e-commerce site. Just like that, Don became a victim of identity theft.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2017 — a record high that follows a record high the previous year. 

Online shopping is convenient, but it does come with its fair share of risk. If you’re shopping from the comfort of your couch this holiday season, the following tips from a variety of experts can help you lower your chances of getting trapped like Don. (Fortunately, his story had a happy ending—check it out below.)

  • Only shop on secure sites. Any page that lets you enter credit card information should start with https:// and include a locked padlock icon. Make sure to enter the correct spelling of the site you intend to visit.
  • Avoid making purchases via a public Wi-Fi connection and computer. Open connections can give hackers direct access to your personal information. The big concern with public Wi-Fi is that your information could be available to anyone on the network. Also avoid using public computers in places like libraries or hotels—they can often store your personal information for anyone to see.
  • Choose strong passwords. If a site requires you to log in, choose a password that doesn’t in any way relate to your personal information. And be sure the password includes a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and characters.
  • Activate your device’s built-in firewalls. Also consider investing in separate security software and updating it frequently.
  • Update your browser(s). Browsers need to be updated just like security software does. Regularly check for browser updates—older versions could have security gaps that leave you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Check your card’s purchase activity frequently. During the holiday shopping frenzy, it’s worth checking your credit card transaction activity every week or so. Doing so lets you spot and dispute any fraudulent charges ASAP.

Cell phone safety smarts

It's important to protect your smartphone, too. One good way to guard your phone is to set a PINs on the phone's home screen and backup and secure your data on a computer or in the cloud. Other good ideas include installing phone locator software that can help you pinpoint your lost phone and a remote wipe app that can delete sensitive information if your phone ends up in the wrong hands.

While many experts say it’s safer to shop via an app than a website, it’s still a good idea to see which kinds of personal information the app collects and shares. Only install apps from trusted sources. If you're not comfortable with the terms and conditions, then seriously reconsider downloading that app.

Coverage for identity theft (happy ending for Don)

Sometimes even the most careful cyber shoppers fall prey to identity theft. That’s why it’s worth adding ERIE’s Identity Recovery Coverage to your homeowners insurance policy. It can help you undo identity theft damage and reimburse you for covered expenses like lost wages, administrative expenses and even some legal fees.

And it protects every relative in your household, even your children. Identity Recovery Coverage from ERIE was there to help Don, the customer mentioned at the beginning of this post, get a handle on a bad situation. An identity fraud case worker helped him make contact with Amazon, order credit reports and put a security freeze on his credit.

“I was really happy with the help I received from ERIE,” says Don. “They did everything except drive to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.” The fraudulent charges were eventually erased, and Don’s credit was not affected.

Identity Recovery Coverage can be added to your homeowners policy for just $20 a year. Your Miller's Insurance Agent is able to tell you more about it.

* Name has been changed for privacy.


 This article brought to you by our friends at Erie Insurance. Miller's would like to extend it's gratitude to Erie Insurance for both being a wonderful business ally and for letting us use the articles found on their blog, Eriesense.

Posted 10:00 AM

Share |

No Comments

Post a Comment
Required (Not Displayed)

All comments are moderated and stripped of HTML.
Submission Validation
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Enter the Validation Code from above.
NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
Blog Archive
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014

View Mobile Version
Erie Insurance
Eastern Alliance Insurance Group
Lackawanna Insurance Group
© Copyright. All rights reserved.
Powered by Insurance Website Builder
Reach out and refer someone to us so we can give back to the community!
Every referral we receive, $5 will be donated to our Spotlight Charity of the quarter!