Beware of Holiday Faudsters

Beware of Holiday Fraudsters

The holiday season is approaching, and we want to make sure that your money is safe and protected. During the holiday season, fraudsters are often ready to steal cash and personal information as you’re doing your holiday shopping.

Take a look at these strategies that can help you in detecting and avoiding falling victim to fraud and identity theft this holiday season: 

Review your credit report
Make sure to check your credit report annually to ensure that no fraudulent accounts have been opened using your personal information. You can receive a free credit report every year by visiting annualcreditreport.com.

Check your statements, transactions, and online activity regularly
Get into the routine of monitoring your financial statements and reviewing your account transactions. This will help you to easily identify unauthorized activity early on. Be sure to contact us as soon as you see something that looks unauthorized.

Make sure that your children understand what information to disclose online.
Games or free offers that request your personal information are often used by fraudsters. They may also include spyware to track and steal information from your computer or mobile device. Protect yourself and your family by encouraging your children to only contact people online who they actually know in person. Set privacy controls to restrict access to private and personal information, and enable parental controls that allow access to only trusted sites. It is also important to keep an open line of communication with your children. Make sure that they know not to give out any personal information without coming and talking to you first.

Beware of downloading smartphone apps.
Smartphone applications may provide the application developer with access to your personal information. This could include access to your messages, contacts, emails, and photos. The information may not even be related to the purpose of the application. Developers could be using this information to share it with marketers or third parties, so make sure to read the privacy policy of each application before downloading to understand what you are sharing. You can also adjust the notification and access settings of each application.

Shred documents with personal and financial information
Financial statements, credit card offers, and billing statements are all examples of documents that you should be shredding. This ensures that your personal and private information won’t be seen by someone that you would not authorize.

Look out for scams
Make sure that you are only giving our personal account information to your credit union. Fraudsters may try to impersonate a credit union to try to get members’ account information. This could involve phone calls, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication. Never reply to unsolicited telephone, email, text, or pop-up messages asking for personal information.

If you do fall victim to fraud, scam, or identity theft, contact us immediately to get the issue resolved.

Source: Office of Consumer Report, “Protecting Members from Holiday Fraudsters,”October 2013.