warning fraud

While the holiday season means a spike in online and in-store traffic and sales, it also brings more fraud. Common fraud types include account takeovers, discount and coupon abuse, return abuse, payment fraud and scams.

When shopping online, don’t be fooled by a fake, look-alike, or spoofed website as it may contain malware to capture sensitive information.

With significant online orders, fraudsters can use shipping confirmation messages as their hook – again, beware; it may contain a link with malware.

Scammers recognize the holidays as a popular giving season, so watch for fake emails, social media sites, or text messages promoting phony charities looking for donations.

Beware of people asking for payment in the form of prepaid cards, gift cards, wire transfers, or going through a third party. These types of payments are typically not traceable.

Be on the lookout for ATM tampering on or anything suspicious. Always survey your surroundings for safety.

Here are some tips to help mitigate fraud:

• Sign up for transaction alerts to monitor for unauthorized transactions, using apps such as CardValet: https://www.gscu.org/accounts/debitatm-cards.html#cardvalet
• Pay attention to emails, links, and websites. Think before you click!
• Ensure home computers, laptops and mobile devices are protected with antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
• Close shopping websites or turn off computer, tablet or mobile device, when done.
• Be cautious when using ATM’s or gas pumps for skimming devices. For gas pumps, try to use the pump closest to the entrance door, as they are less likely to be a          target for skimmers.
• Review accounts on a daily basis and report discrepancies immediately