This holiday season remember to stay vigilant for fraudsters!

With all the commotion of planning, celebrating with family and friends, and endless amounts of shopping during the holiday season, it is easy to let your guard down when it comes to financial safety. Fraudsters capitalize on this and use several different techniques to implement their scams on unknowing individuals.

Common Scams

Social Media Scams: Fraudsters will set up fake, online stores and use social media to advertise the fake websites. An individual may attempt to purchase something from the fake site and unknowingly provide account information to the fraudster without ever obtaining any goods or services.

Porch Pirates: This type of fraud typically increases during the holidays. Criminals steal packages from doorsteps/porches of unsuspecting homes, apartments and businesses.

Shipment Update Scams: Fraudsters send a fake email notifying you of a delivery failure or ask for updated shipping information. The email may look like it is coming from the original sender, but it contains a link with malware.

Donation and Fake Charities: People love giving back during the holiday season and unfortunately scammers know this. Similar to social media scams, donation scams often try to replicate a charity website convincing you to donate money which goes right to the criminal.

Loan Scam: Similar to social media scams, fraudsters will replicate loan companies and state that you have been approved for a loan. They will then ask you for your online banking credentials to make the “deposit” into your account. No legitimate company will ever ask you for your online banking information to make a deposit.

Fraud Prevention Tips

  • The scams mentioned above may use one common method of transferring funds to the fraudster; gift cards! No legitimate company will ever ask you to purchase gift cards to receive services or for identification purposes. Do not purchase gift cards for unknown individuals. Do not send gift card numbers through email or provide the numbers over the phone.
  • Sign up for Alerts and Notifications through online banking to monitor your account for unauthorized transactions.
  • Review and monitor your accounts daily and report any discrepancies immediately.
  • Do not provide your online banking information, account information, debit card, or credit card information to anyone.
  • Use well-known websites for online purchases. Go to the website directly rather than through social media website advertisements.
  • Avoid entering card information on web forms. Instead, use your stored payment information when possible, such as PayPal.
  • Pay extra 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.
  • Be cautious for skimming or shimming devices when using ATMs or gas pumps. For gas pumps, try to use the pump closest to the entrance door as they are less likely to be a target for skimmers.

Please contact a NEFCU representative if you suspect fraudulent activity has occurred on your account.