More than ever, we’re shopping online and using our credit cards for purchases. Follow these helpful tips to keep your finances and personal information safe this holiday season.
Scams to avoid
Fake shipment tracking — Many retailers will send emails or text messages to give you updates on order shipments. During the holidays when you are expecting a larger number of packages, scammers will attempt to take advantage of this by sending out phishing emails or texts pretending to be a company like UPS, USPS or FedEx. The goal of the scammer’s message is to lure you to a fraudulent website and encourage you to enter personal information to receive shipment updates.
Avoid these scams by looking closely at delivery notification email updates before you click on links or input information. If you have concerns, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to a retailer and ask them for shipment tracking information.
Public Wi-Fi hackers — Avoid making purchases while using public Wi-Fi. This will help you ensure you’re not sharing personal or credit card information where hackers may be able to access it.
Phony websites — Double-check websites before you make a purchase. Look closely at the URL: Is it the real company you think you’re buying from? How did you navigate to the website (from a browser search or an ad)? Online ads can be deceiving, and phony companies often make their websites look very similar to authentic retailers. If the website seems to be offering outrageous discounts or high-value coupons, double-check that you are actually on the retailer’s website before you provide any of your personal information.
Charity scams — The holidays are a particularly active time for charitable giving, which means there are scammers who will impersonate nonprofits and charities to take your money or personal information. Only donate to charities you know and trust. Legitimate organizations will not ask for gift cards as donation payments or solicit donations via money transfers.
Quick safety tips
Credit card statements — Routinely review your credit card statements. Setting up card alerts can help you ensure you stay notified about transactions on your cards and prevent fraud. It’s important to review your statements into January and February, as fraudulent charges from the holiday season may take weeks to show up on your statement.
Unsolicited emails — Be very wary of unsolicited emails. Try to avoid responding to unsolicited emails or click on any links contained within them. Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information. All these methods are common phishing techniques scammers use to get you to provide your personal information.
Don’t over-share — Never give out more information than is needed when making a purchase online. Merchants won’t need your private information, like your social security number or online banking information.
Manage Your Receipts – Keep your receipts, shipping and tracking information and any emails from merchants about your orders until the purchase arrives so you can easily resolve any issues quickly. Once you receive your purchase or any issues are resolved then shred your receipts.
Find more tips for protecting yourself when buying or selling online here.
Concerned your Elevations Credit Union account may be at risk? Email our fraud team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concerned your Elevations Credit or Debit card may be compromised? Please report it as soon as possible. To report fraud or dispute a transaction, please call 888.346.4412.