Avoid Holiday Shopping Scams This Season
It's no coincidence that the busiest shopping season coincides with the highest rate of fraud around the world. Being aware of common scams can help keep your finances safe this holiday season.
Across the board, we’ve witnessed a widespread increase in fraud from phishing attacks. Phishing is when a scammer calls you or sends a text or email that looks like it’s coming from a legitimate company like FedEx, Netflix, Amazon, or even Credit Union West, to request sensitive account information. According to a new survey by Norton,* a seller of cybersecurity software, more than half of Americans (56%) are worried about falling victim to cybercrimes this season. Respondents who fell victim to scammers also lost an average of $1,500.
Rest assured, Credit Union West will never ask for your Online Banking password, or other personal information in a text, email or phone call. If you are unsure if a text or email is from Credit Union West, avoid clicking on any links and call us immediately to report the suspicious activity at 800.621.0287.
Phishing attempts often contain a website designed to trick you into sharing usernames, passwords, and other personal information. Common phishing signs are suspicious URLs, misspelled words, and generic greetings. A fraudster’s tone can also be key in identifying a potential phishing scam. The scammer may be overly pushy, or uncomfortably friendly to draw more information from you.
Avoid the scammers with these tips
- Keep your passwords safe and never disclose them to anyone.
- Create a strong password with a combination of numbers, upper-case, lower-case, and special characters.
- Don't click on links or downloads in an unsolicited email or text message.
- Research merchants before you purchase from them.
- Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi.
- Monitor your account activity regularly.
- Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Providing scammers with your bank account information and other personal information can compromise your account. If you are concerned due to a suspicious interaction, stop what you are doing and call Credit Union West at 800.621.0287 or send us a secure message through online banking so we can help safeguard your account. We also recommend filing a complaint with the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the scam and help others avoid becoming a victim.
*Holiday Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, https://us.norton.com/blog/online-scams/holiday-scams-2023
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