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Avoid Identity Theft This Holiday Season

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and HOUSTON, Dec. 5, 2014— With the popularity of online shopping and the willingness to offer personal information in exchange for deep discounts, consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud during the holiday season. The experts at Cadence Bank offer these tips to help you shop safely this holiday season.

  • During the holidays, you likely are using your credit card more frequently and shopping on websites you don’t usually visit. A word of caution: If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Criminals lure shoppers with websites that look legitimate and offer unbelievably low prices. Ordering from one of these bogus sites means handing over your personal information to criminals.
  • When shopping online, always look for the “closed lock” icon on the status bar of your Internet browser. This means encryption is being used on the webpage you’re viewing and the information you transmit is secure. The icon should appear on every page of the site - not just the homepage. Also, make sure “https://” is listed at the beginning of each web address page. The “s” verifies the security of the site.
  • Consider using a credit card rather than a debit card when making online purchases. Credit cards have added protection through the Fair Credit Billing Act in case you encounter a problem.
  • It’s quite common to get shipping notices from delivery carriers when you shop online. Criminals take advantage of unsuspecting victims by sending an email that contains a link to a delivery alert, which can download malware onto your computer. Only use the tracking numbers provided to you in the initial email sent after making the online purchase. Or visit the merchant’s website to track any packages you are expecting.
  • Shopping offline also presents opportunities for identity theft, so pay attention. Once a store employee completes a valid sale, they could run your card a second time using a handheld skimmer or capture a cell phone picture of the card before returning it to you.

Incorporate these tips into your holiday shopping experience to help stay safe this season. For more useful information about protecting yourself from fraud, visit Cadence Bank’s Fraud Information Center at

About Cadence Bank

Cadence Bank, N.A., based in Birmingham, Ala., is a $5.7 billion bank with more than 100 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Backed by 126 years of financial expertise, Cadence serves commercial and consumer clients with a full range of innovative banking and financial solutions designed to keep pace with their lives. These products and services include commercial and consumer banking, small business banking, treasury management, international banking, specialized lending, commercial real estate, wealth management, investment and trust services, financial planning, retirement plan management, business and personal insurance, consumer loans, mortgages, home equity lines and loans, and credit cards. Cadence Bank and its affiliates, Linscomb & Williams and Cadence Insurance Agency, are wholly owned subsidiaries of Houston-based Cadence Bancorp, LLC. Additional information about Cadence Bank is available at Cadence Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Contact Information: 

Danielle Kernell

Cadence Bank, N.A.
713-871-4051 direct | 713-392-7709 mobile

[email protected]

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