The festive season comes with the joy of preparation, the scent of Christmas cookies and, certainly, shopping for presents. Like all other festivities this year, celebrations this Christmas and New Year’s Eve will differ from other years, and purchasing gifts and Christmas dinner will also be different. More than for other holidays, Christmas is associated with crowded stores and long queues, which cannot be permitted this year.
To protect ourselves and those around us, we recommend shopping remotely and adhering to the secure shopping principles developed by Citadele experts.
Security tips for remote shopping
Online card payments
For some time now, users of all cards which can be used to pay in online stores can set regions in which their card can be used. If you do not plan on making any purchases outside of Europe or the Baltics, you can set this using the online bank or mobile app. If you rarely shop online, you can deactivate online card payments most of the time, as long as you don’t forget to reactivate them before your next purchase.
Use a secure internet connection
Public WiFi connections are not always secure. Fraudsters can use them to collect your bank card details or online banking access codes. Therefore, when shopping, a secure internet connection is preferred: your private home internet or, if travelling, your phone’s mobile internet.
Ensure that an online store is real
Fraudsters’ main aim is to access your card details or online banking access codes, so they fake online store pages which collect this information when you try and purchase something from them. Ways of making sure an online store is real: finding online reviews of the store, researching their contact details and social media, checking for frequent grammatical errors, as well as checking the company’s business registration number in the Lursoft website if the store is registered in Latvia. A good sign for an online store is the use of a security certificate—the address begins with https:// and/or you see a lock symbol before the address—as well as a secure payment offering consumer protection which allows you to get your money back if a product is not delivered, such as PayPal, Citadele’s Klix and others.
Beware offers that are too good to be true
Christmas is a time for special offers, but along with that comes increased attempts by scammers to steal your data. A common scam method is to gain information by sending fraudulent email offers with links asking you to enter your information to receive a discount, and so on.
If, however, you need something specific that cannot be bought online, we particularly suggest you adhere to safety measures when shopping in person.
Pay with a contactless card or phone
All new cards have contactless technology, and all payment terminals must be able to accepts contactless cards, phone payments or other contactless payment methods like wristbands and rings. We suggest using contactless payments to avoid entering your PIN code for purchases up to €50.
Write a list of gifts and things you need
Avoid aimless wandering around stores; instead write a list of things to be bought and from which stores, rather than visiting every store in the hope of finding what you want. Keep browsing to online stores.
Use the Apturi Covid app
To help control the traceability of the virus, we suggest using Apturi Covid, the app created by the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control which records the people you have been in contact with and informs you if you have been in contact with someone who has fallen ill.
Advice for those who don’t know what gifts to buy
Support local producers and service providers who are unable to operate due to the restrictions. Purchase a gift card that the recipient can use once the epidemiological situation in the country has improved.