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Fighting Fraud: Warning Signs to Look for This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here, and that typically comes with busier schedules. While we may be preoccupied finding the best deals, planning trips, and perfecting our holiday décor, there are fraudsters waiting to take advantage of us as we have other things on our minds. It is important that, during this time of year especially, we stay vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious offers and activity. Not sure what to look for? Consider the following popular scams that most fraudsters gravitate towards during the holiday season. 

Online Shopping Scams
You’ve most likely seen and or received the texts and emails offering holiday deals that sound too good to be true. A great rule of thumb when working to avoid phishing scams through online shopping is to remember that if it sounds too good to be true, there’s a high chance that it is. If you get a message from one of your favorite companies claiming that they have an 80% off sitewide sale, don’t click on the link. Instead, go to your browser and type in the company’s website for yourself. If you cannot find that same claim on their website, there’s a good chance that you’ve successfully avoided a scam.

Shipping Scams
Another all-too-common scam is the email or text claiming that your shipping information was filled out incorrectly on the website that you recently ordered from. The reason this scam is highly believable around the holiday season is because many of us are ordering a plethora of packages during this time of year. Again, the best method to avoid falling for scams of this nature is by heading directly to the website of the company. From here, you can confirm your shipping information as opposed to clicking on a questionable link.

Perfect Your Passwords
Now that you know which tactics to be on the lookout for, it’s time to reevaluate the strength of your passwords. It can be easy to underestimate the importance of a strong password. Statistically speaking, 24% of Americans use “123456” or “password” as their password. Additionally, 51% of people use the same password for all work and personal accounts. While simplifying your password may make it easier to remember, it can also, in turn, make it easier for hackers to access your accounts.

Consider the following tips when making passwords:
  • Use lengthy phrases that include symbols and numbers.
  • Don’t reuse passwords for different websites.
  • Regularly change your passwords.
  • Never write your password down or share it with anyone.
  • Consider investing in a password management tool.
As you fill your schedule this holiday season, also remember to fill your brain with fraud fighting knowledge. Work to identify the most frequently used scams while also monitoring the strength of your passwords. Additionally, take advantage of the helpful services offered by Orlando Credit Union’s partner, IdentityIQ, by utilizing tools including, but not limited to, dark web monitoring, real-time fraud alerts, and SSN alerts. To find out more information, click the ‘Member Resources’ tab on Orlando Credit Union’s website.