Tis the Season for Scams!
The holiday season brings cheer and an increase in fraudulent activity from scammers. Don’t let this put a damper on your holiday, read the top scam examples below to recognize them and avoid being a victim.
Be vigilant when checking your email. A host of emails will get delivered to your inbox this holiday season. Look for signs that your email may be fake:
- If you notice e-cards from unknown senders, it may contain malicious links. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open them!
- Shipping notifications may deliver infected attachments. If you didn’t order anything from the vendor in the email, never click on the link.
- Unexpected emails from popular stores like Target, Amazon, or Walmart about a recent in-store or online order. The email will look real and have a reasonable subject like ‘Thank you for your order’, ‘Order Confirmation’, or ‘Order Status’. If it is unexpected and has a link, don’t click!
Fake Advertisements Scams
Fake ads are showing up all over the internet. If you notice an ad while browsing that offers merchandise at prices so low that you can’t resist, think before you click! If it seems too good to be true, it most certainly is.
Gift Card Scams
Whether you are a giver or receiver of gift cards, be vigilant and cautious when giving or using them. Below are a few of the most popular types of gift card scams:
- Fraudsters pose as a relative in a dire situation asking for large amounts of money in the form of prepaid gift cards.
- Scammers call victims to explain that they can avoid jail for missing jury duty by paying a fine using a gift card. The scammers tell the victims to buy the card and then call back to give them the card numbers over the phone.
- Fraudsters visit stores to look at gift card displays and jot down the numbers. They wait a few days to call to see the available balances. Once you activate the card, usually upon purchase, they can in some cases spend the balance of the gift cards online before the recipients even receive the gifts. Then when the gift card recipient goes to redeem the card, the balance has already been depleted.
Fake Loan Scam
This scam starts by receiving an email or letter from an unfamiliar loan company offering to loan you money. What indicates a scam is that they will require you to send them money to cover loan fees, service fees, and taxes. Loan companies never require you to send money to qualify for a loan. If one does, treat this as a “red flag” and don’t fall for it.
Phony Charity Scams
Scammers take advantage of the outpouring of goodwill during the holiday season by creating new charities or misusing the name and brand of a well-known charity to get donations sent directly to them.
Before donating, you should verify that the charity and its web address are legitimate. When sending the money, use a check or credit card instead of a wire transfer or cash for donations.
Remember, Service One will NEVER ask you for sensitive personal card or account information by phone, email, or text message! If you receive a telephone call, email, or text message asking for personal identification or account information from anyone who purports to be from Service One, consider the request to be fraudulent and do not provide any information.
If you believe you are a victim of a holiday scam, consider the following actions:
- Report the attack to the police
- Contact Service One immediately and watch your account for unexplained charges
- Change any passwords that may have been used during the scam attack
At Service One, we work hard to guard your finances against fraud by always having your financial protection in mind. Our team of experienced professionals leverages state-of-the-art technology to identify potential fraud on debit and credit cards. You can also take steps yourself by utilizing our FREE Debit/Credit Card alert features. Click here to find out more information.
Have a happy and safe holiday season from Service One Credit Union!