The holiday season is upon us, which means spending time with friends and family, sipping on hot chocolate, and last—but certainly not least—shopping. As warm and cheery as this season typically is, it’s important to remember that the holiday season is a fraudster’s favorite time of year as well. Not only can we expect to spend billions over the holidays, but we can also expect fraud to increase significantly as criminals prey on the amplified volume of transactions.
To better protect yourself during the holidays, we have compiled a list of the top tips used to prevent card fraud.
• Carry only the card(s) you plan to use
• Know where your cards are at all times
• Monitor account activity via online banking and monthly
Unfortunately, fraudsters don’t just target credit and debit cards. These clever criminals also engage consumers through phishing tactics and charity fraud. Listed below are some ways you can prevent falling victim to these types of criminal activity.
• Be wary of emails from unrecognized contacts that require you to confirm personal or financial
information. These emails usually include verbiage that makes the
request seem urgent to ensure you contact them immediately.
• Ensure that your spam settings are turned on the block emails from people that are not on your contact list
• Remember, phishing websites often copy the entire look of a legitimate website, making them appear authentic.
• If you receive an email that prompts you to visit a website, call the actual company first to verify the legitimacy of the email. Please note that reputable companies will never request personal or financial information be sent via email.
Thousands of consumers are more likely to fall victim to charity fraud during the holiday season since it typically embodies random acts of kindness and charitable giving. Fraudsters intentionally misrepresent fundraising objectives and solicit funds for fake
causes. To avoid these situations, you should:
- Request written information from the organization including name, address, and phone numbers of its members
- Be wary of 3rd party companies that claim they are collections donations on behalf of the organization
- Do your research! If you have never heard of a charitable organization before, research them on the web or ask friends and family for more information
As you can see, the holidays have become quite the breeding ground for fraudulent activities. If you have any concerns about activity on your account or simply want to learn more about ways to protect yourself, contact us at (602) 866-1100 and we would be happy to help! Also, don’t forget to update your contact information with a SunWest representative so that we may reach out to you should we come across any suspicious activity on your account.