Holiday Shopping on Laptop

Protect Yourself from Fraud this Holiday Season

Tis the season for holiday shopping. With the holidays here, you’ve got deals to catch and loved ones to shop for. However, while you’re getting the deal of the season, a fraudster may be stealing your information. Fraud and identity theft tend to pick up during the holiday season.

Don’t worry, we’ve gathered some tips to help protect you this year.

Monitor your accounts.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out your accounts have been compromised. Most people don’t find out they’ve been compromised until their card is declined. Talk about inconvenient, but this also means you’ve given a thief plenty of time to go shopping. An easy way to avoid this type of situation is to monitor your accounts frequently. You can check them through your Online or Mobile Banking and set up alerts to help you keep track of your account activity.

Avoid clicking links.

You receive an email or text from your favorite department store announcing that everything is 80% off for today only. Christmas came early! This would be extremely tempting to click; however, experts advise proceeding with caution as the text or email may not truly be from your favorite store.  

If it seems too good to be true, most likely, it is. These deals will typically require you to provide some personal information to receive the promotional deal, and this may allow the criminal to steal your identity. Always check to make sure that the deal came from a source you recognize, verify the email address is correct, and check the website to confirm that it’s a legitimate deal.

Use your institution’s security features.

Make sure you’re in control of your debit cards by using your institution’s security features. With features like CardControl, you have the options to turn your card on or off, set regional and location blocks, spending limits, merchant type, travel notifications, alerts, and more.

Watch out for skimmers.

Keep your eye out for devices attached to card readers or ATMs that can potentially steal your information. They may look real at first, but look closely and check for any signs of tampering or loose or unusual parts.  Also, always check your surroundings to make sure no one is snapping a photo of your card number or other personal information while using these devices.

Check your statements and credit report.

Take time to look over your statements and credit report. When you’re spending more during the holidays, it’s easy to breeze through your statements without paying attention to each charge. Stay alert and ask about any suspicious activity to catch any attempt at identity theft early.

If you suspect fraud or believe you've been the victim of identity theft, we're here to help. Contact us to report any fraudulent activity. 

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