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Don’t let fraudsters take the jolly out of your holiday

The holidays are supposed to be all about fun and good tidings to all.  Unfortunately the holidays can also be a time when we are most likely to be victims of fraud and other scams. There are a few simple ways to protect your money during the holidays.
What makes the holidays a more likely time for fraud?
Primarily because we are taking actions we may not normally take, examples include ordering more gifts online from unfamiliar retailers or looking to help others in need by giving to charities.  Fraudsters know that with all the hustle and bustle, people are less likely to take all the precautions they normally would with their money and identity.
What are some of the financial fraud we should be concerned with during the holidays?
First and foremost it is the protection of our financial account numbers and passwords. Logging onto your financial information using an unsecured WIFI network is not a good idea.  Always use a secure network if you are accessing important financial information.
Are there other ways that we can unknowingly give out our financial information?
One potential method is to use fraudulent emails to get your financial information.  This can take two forms, either an email offering something that is unbelievable deal or one that says your recent purchase needs to be confirmed.  Always be careful clicking on these links especially if you have to enter your credit card information.
How can we guard against credit card or debit card fraud?
Shop only at known sites or look to verify that a site is actually safe to use your credit or debit cards. And don’t ever give your information out over the phone to someone who has called you asking for it.  These are the two biggest schemes used by fraudsters to get access to your account information.
Every year it seems there is a massive card breach. Can we protect ourselves from this?
Unfortunately it can be difficult to protect yourself from this happening but you can limit the damage if it does happen.  Always check your statements and even look at your account online regularly to make sure all the charges are really yours.  Early detection is the best way to prevent this type of fraud from causing you any financial harm.
Are there any other fraud schemes that are more prevalent during the holidays?
Unfortunately one of the biggest is related to charity donations.  Fraudsters are very good at designing charity fronts or heart wrenching stories and asking for money. Always donate to an established cause or checkout new charities doing online searches to confirm their story.
What is the best way to be vigilant without losing all the holiday cheer?
Shop smart by using known retailers or those that have the proper online security.  When donating to a charitable cause, use the “trust but verify” system if you haven’t heard of the charity before being asked to donate.  And finally, monitor the activity on your accounts using alerts and online access to review transaction history.

Posted: 12/11/2015 with 0 comments

Categories: Money Matters, Security

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