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Online Scam Prevention Tips For The Holidays

Cyber Security Month

During the busy holiday shopping season, it is vital to remain vigilant about potential scams. Scammers often ramp up their attacks during the holiday season to take advantage of shoppers.

One of the most common scams involves receiving emails from popular retailers such as Amazon, TEMU, Target, and many others stating that your account has been overcharged and that you must click the link to be reimbursed. The link will not bring you to whichever retailer the scammer is spoofing but to a fraudulent site where your information can be stolen. It is always good to be diligent in how you can prevent online scammers from tricking you. Follow the helpful hints below to protect yourself from these types of scams!

  • Beware of unsolicited emails asking for a link to be clicked on or an app to be downloaded to access a deal or arrange a delivery.
  • Before clicking on a link, hover over it in emails and social media ads to display the true destination of the website to make sure it’s a legitimate site.
  • Spelling errors or poor grammar can be signs of scams.
  • Be mindful of scare tactics used. Artificial Intelligence can mimic the voice of a loved one, making you vulnerable to the requests of the fraudster, such as going to withdraw money but hiding the reason from your financial institution. When in doubt, call your loved one directly to verify their safety.
  • Stay away from unfamiliar retail, travel, and charity sites online or research them by searching for their names on review sites.
  • If an email, phone call, or text says it’s a financial institution, don’t act on it. Call the financial institution directly. Most financial institutions would never call unexpectedly to demand account information such as account numbers, passwords, PINs, Social Security Numbers, etc.
  • Email us at [email protected] to report cyber scams.

It is essential to know the typical schemes to protect yourself better. You must stay alert, look for the signs, and act cautiously. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

These cyber schemes try to exploit our members’ habits of giving and gift-buying for their loved ones. Fraudsters hope to cash in as members become preoccupied with travel and holiday festivities, making it easier for consumers to be more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. To learn more about this, head over to our fraud page.