Fraud Protection Steps: Protect Yourself This Holiday Season
Because fraudsters will be hard at work this holiday season, it is important to be cognizant of scams that may occur during this time of year and to keep some best practices in mind.
Best Credit and Debit Card Practices include:
o Carry only the card(s) you plan to use.
o Know where your cards are at all times.
o Check for evidence of tampering before you use an ATM to obtain cash. Glue and overlays on the card
reader or keypad are common items to be on the lookout for.
o Monitor account activity periodically via online banking and monthly statement
o Respond to Fraud alerts as soon as possible.
o Ensure computers have the most up-to-date anti-virus software.
Phishing scams are used by fraudsters to obtain a card, account, or personal data through fictitious phone calls, websites, emails, and more.
o Be wary of emails from unrecognized persons or email addresses that require that you to confirm personal or financial information over the internet or call unknown numbers. These emails typically include verbiage that makes the request seem urgent to stimulate a quick response from the frightened consumer.
o Ensure that email spam filter settings are turned on to block emails from persons that are not in your contact list.
o When an email includes a link and requests that you visit a website, keep in mind that phishing websites often copy the entire look of a legitimate website, making it appear authentic. To be safe, call the legitimate enterprise first to inquire about the email you received to ensure it is valid. Businesses should never request personal information to be sent via email.
o Beware of phone phishing schemes and do not divulge card, account, or personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
o Do not click on links, download files, or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
Fraudsters use charity organizations as a way to capitalize on kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year, and thousands of people fall for these scams. Charity fraud occurs when an individual or group deliberately misrepresents its fundraising intentions or solicits funds for phony causes.
o Request written information from the organization including name, address, and phone numbers of its members.
o Be wary of 3rd party companies that claim they are collecting donations on behalf of the legitimate organization.
o Do not click on links in unsolicited emails. Go directly the websites of known charities.