It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for holiday scammers. While everything is merry and bright, people are out there with the sole intent of stealing from you and your loved ones. Protect yourself from fraud and scams this holiday season by taking some of the steps suggested by Chief Marketing Officer at Cyprus Credit Union, David Sant.
Scammers may spoof emails from some of your favorite stores in an attempt to get your credit card information. Never click on links on emails unless you are 100% sure of where they came from. Always go directly to the store`s website by typing in the address.
Before finalizing any online purchase, make sure the URL includes ‘https.’ The ‘s’ stands for secure and there should be a lock icon in the browser bar. Never use a public Wi-Fi spot to enter your credit card or other financial information.
If you are purchasing from a lesser known seller, make sure they are legitimate before hitting submit. Google the name of the shop or seller with words such as review, complaint or scam. You can also use the Better Business Bureau as a resource.
Gift Card Fraud
In recent years, people have been recording the number of gift cards and then call to see if they have been activated. Although this is a difficult one to avoid, the simplest way is to buy gift cards at the last minute and then spend them as soon as possible when receiving one.
One of the biggest targets for scammers during the holiday season is stealing packages off of people`s front porches. You can use services like USPS Package Intercept to have packages redirected to your local post office for you to pick up when you`re ready. There`s also the option of requesting packages be placed somewhere other than your front porch so they`re out of sight. If it`s been a problem in the past, you may want to invest in a security camera pointed at your porch. This way, if something does happen, you have video proof of the perpetrator for the police. Finally, you can always have them delivered to your workplace, keeping packages safe from scammers and curious little eyes in your own home.
Throughout your holiday shopping, stay on top of all credit card and account information. Take time each week to make sure every purchase is legitimate and was made by you. If you do find evidence of fraud or your card is stolen or lost contact your financial institution as soon as possible.