Keep Your Holidays Merry: Avoid Scammers
The holidays are a time of happiness, hope, and cheer. Unfortunately, they’re also a time when scammers get busy. There are a few things to keep in mind this holiday season to protect yourself from the frustrations of fraud.
Watch Your Transactions Regularly
Identity thieves who steal debit and credit card numbers often wait for months before they try to use them. They target the holiday season, because the elevated number of transactions that we all usually have makes it easier for scammers to ‘hide’ their charges. Be sure to review your monthly statements, and sign up for Notifications through Online & Mobile Banking for your debit and credit card transactions, so you can catch unusual activity and cut it off quickly. Please report any fraudulent charges to us as soon as possible.
Be Aware of Your Card Use
A common tactic of identity thieves is installing card skimmers machines such as ATMs or gas pumps that might not be totally secure. If a card reader looks altered or odd, be sure to take a second look. When you can, use ATMs installed at a credit union or bank, as these will be scrutinized more regularly than some stand-alone machines.
Know the Landscape
The holidays are often marked by travel to exotic locations. Some locations see a higher-than-normal pattern of fraud. In countries such as Mexico, Brazil, or Indonesia, ATMs are more prone to being compromised than in other countries. One strategy is to get small amounts of cash at ATMs attached to an actual bank (which are usually less prone to having card skimmers installed) and use cash for your transactions instead of cards whenever possible.