Fraudsters Don’t Take Time Off During the Holiday Season

Published: November 20, 2018
Fraudsters Don’t Take Time Off During the Holiday Season

This time of year, consumers are inundated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and enticing deals. While the holiday selling season means a spike in online and in-store traffic and sales, it also brings more fraud. Unfortunately, fraudsters don’t take time off during the holiday season. Common fraud types include account takeovers, discount and coupon abuse, return abuse, payments fraud, and scams. Educate your members, so they don’t fall victim to fraud during what should be a cheerful season.

Fraud attacks increased by 13% last year during the holidays, according to the 2018 Fraud Attack Index from Forter. With holiday shopping just around the corner, increased online and in-store fraud is anticipated.

Unfortunately, many of these risks are outside of credit union control. Your members are vulnerable to common card fraud and other holiday scams at this time of the year.

  • When shopping online don’t be fooled by a fake, look-alike, or spoofed website, as it may contain malware to capture sensitive member 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.
  • Be sure to apply in-person or go to a business’ website to validate holiday jobs at delivery services and retailers. While it seems like they’re looking for extra help, it could be another way to capture personal information.
  • 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.
  • Remain aware of where you are at. Be on the lookout for ATM tampering or anything suspicious. Always survey your surroundings for safety.

Prevention Tips:

  • Sign up for transaction alerts to monitor for unauthorized transactions.
  • 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.
  • Be cautious when using ATMs or gas pumps for skimming or shimming 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.
  • Encourage your members to review their accounts daily and report any discrepancies immediately.