Holiday Scam Prevention Tips
During the holiday season, we typically see a spike in fraud. The reason? Fraudsters know that we are in full holiday mode and may not be keeping close tabs on our accounts and credit cards. In addition, retailers see a spike in sales and may not be able to immediately identify and stop fraud due to the larger volume of transactions. With the holidays arriving, it’s more important than ever to think about security. Here are few tips to help you stay safe this holiday season.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
Barbara Harper, President
- Check your financial accounts regularly to confirm you recognize all the transactions listed.
- Set up transaction alerts for your credit and debit cards. Alerts will arrive via text or email and are usually the first tip-off that your card/accounts have been compromised. Text alerts are available for COPFCU credit and debit cards inside the mobile app.
- Instantly turn your credit or debit card off if you suspect fraud, then contact your financial institution. Card lock/unlock features are available inside the COPFCU mobile app.
- Always use a Chip Card when shopping in store.
- If you receive a phone call or text claiming to be from your credit union or bank and asking for personal information, hang up and call your financial institution directly to verify the request before providing information.
- Purchase gift cards in store to avoid empty gift card scams.
- Be aware of “sweetheart scams” where a stranger approaches you online with a claim of romantic interest, and then eventually asks you for money or financial information.
- Be on the lookout for fake charity scams which are prevalent during the holidays and after a natural disaster. Verify the legitimacy of a charity before contributing any donation.
- Beware of unsolicited offers for technical support to remove a virus or improve the speed of your device. Scammers may call claiming to be from Microsoft or other technology companies. These are usually scams.
- If you are selling products online, never accept a check for payment, especially if the check is for more than your sale price. In these scams, the purchaser will ask you to deposit the check into your bank account and return the extra cash to them. These checks are always bad. If you send cash back to the purchaser, you could find yourself owing hundreds to your credit union or bank.
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