Fraud Prevention Holiday Survival Guide
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially for fraudsters! During the holidays, people are flocking online and to the stores to make purchases, and they are also getting scammed. Fremont Bank would like to equip you with information to help protect your personal information so you can focus on other things like decking the halls and making spirits bright.
Black Friday beware
Be extra careful when shopping online this time of year. If you enjoy searching for steals and deals, keep in mind that hackers are lying in wait for you, like Ebenezer Scrooge. They create malicious websites that appear in results when you search for things like “Black Friday” and they can be indistinguishable from legitimate online shopping sites. Just opening one of these fake pages could plant a virus on your computer that could steal your financial information, passwords and data.
While Santa’s helpers are looking to get the best deals out there, it’s important to remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. To find deals securely, go directly to the retailers’ website and use their site search to find what you’re looking for, instead of using Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines. When you’re ready to check out, make sure the website is secure by looking for security markers and only enter your credit card number if you’re certain the website is legitimate.
‘Tis the season of giving
You might feel extra charitable during the holidays. Just make sure you are giving to a reputable organization. Charity scams function in a number of different ways. Sometimes it’s a charity that is not known, sometimes it’s well-known but the scam is operating a fake website. You may be approached by people collecting money for charity on the street, by phone or by email.
These scammers are definitely on the naughty list, taking advantage of your generosity. To help ensure you’re donating to the authentic charity, don’t give your financial information to telephone solicitors. Spread holiday cheer by calling the organization or going directly to their official website to make a donation.
We make the list, you check it twice
Sometimes you can’t avoid unwrapping scams, like credit and debit card database breaches that make national news. Fortunately, Fremont Bank takes extra precautions if we know that our clients have been affected by one of these wide-scale breaches. We close their debit cards and reissue new ones.
To help mitigate losses year-round, use Online and Mobile Banking to review your transactions as quickly as they happen. You can even set up account alerts in Online Banking to be notified when certain activity occurs on your account. Review your credit card and account statements thoroughly. If you see any unauthorized transactions, report it right away by calling the bank or card issuer.
Don’t let the fraudsters dampen your holiday spirit. Use common sense and employ these proactive measures to help keep your personal information safe and secure. May you have a joyous holiday season and avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
11/26/2014 8:19:32 AM
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