Tips to protect yourself from scammers during the holidays

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    We are shopping online more than ever and using our credit cards to make purchases. Follow these helpful tips to help protect your finances and personal information this holiday season.

    Avoid fraud

    Fake S.hips Tshelves – Many retailers will send you emails or text messages to let you know about orders shipped. During the holidays, when you are expecting a large number of packages, scammers try to take advantage of this by sending phishing emails or SMS pretending to be a company like UPS, USPS or FedEx. The goal of the scammer’s message is to lure you onto a fraudulent website and to encourage you to enter personal information in order to receive shipping updates.

    Avoid these scams by carefully reviewing delivery notification email updates before clicking any links or entering any information. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a retailer directly and ask for tracking information.

    Public Wireless Internet access hacker – Avoid making purchases while using public WiFi. This is a great way to ensure that you are not giving away any personal or credit card information that hackers may have access to.

    Not correct websites – Check the websites before making a purchase. Take a close look at the url: is it the real company you think you are buying from? How did you get to the site (via a browser search or an ad)? Online ads can be deceiving, and fake companies often make their websites look very similar to authentic retailers. If the website offers outrageous discounts or high quality coupons, double-check that you are actually on the retailer’s website before submitting your personal information.

    Charities Scam – The holidays are an especially active time for charity, which means there are scammers posing as nonprofits and charities to take your money or personal information. Only donate to charities that you know and trust. Legitimate organizations will not request gift cards as donation payments or solicit donations via money transfer.

    Quick safety tips

    Credit card statements – Check your credit card statements regularly. By setting up card notifications, you can ensure that you stay informed of transactions on your cards and prevent fraud. It is important to check your bank statements in January and February as it can take weeks for fraudulent charges from the holiday season to show up on your bank statement.

    Unsolicited emails – Be very careful with unsolicited email. Try to avoid replying to unsolicited emails or clicking any links in them. Avoid filling out forms in email messages asking for personal information. All of these methods are common phishing techniques that scammers use to trick you into providing your personal information.

    Don’t share too much – Never give out more information than necessary when buying online. Merchants do not need your private information such as your social security number or online banking information.

    Manage your receipts – Keep your receipts, shipping and tracking information, and any merchant emails related to your orders until the purchase arrives so you can resolve any issues quickly. Once you receive your purchase or any issues are resolved, shred your receipts.

    resources

    You can find more tips on protecting yourself when buying or selling online here.

    Concerned your Elevations Credit Union Account could be compromised? Send an email to our fraud team at Fraudmanagement@elevationscu.com.

    Concerned that your Elevations credit or debit card could be compromised? Please report it as soon as possible. To report fraud or dispute a transaction, please call 888.346.4412.

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