Five Holiday Season Scams

working at tablet with cell phone

It's the time of year to spread holiday cheer. We're out purchasing that perfect gift from our favorite retailer or surfing online to fill our virtual basket full of goodies. Either way, we're happy to find the perfect gift for that special someone. This sense of holiday cheer also has a darker side - scams, hackers and fraud.

With all of the goodwill towards each other, who could have the heart to do such a thing? This assumption is exactly what financial predators are banking on - our guards being down while we're preoccupied with holiday festivities. Fraud never sleeps, and the scams get more and more complex every day. Here is a list of five common scams to watch out for during the holidays:

Phishing

A phishing scam is an attempt to steal banking or personal information over the Internet. The most common form is an email message prompting you to enter your login, card, or account information to "fix" or "complete" an official request. Often, the email looks exactly like an official message sent by the organization, leading you to believe that they need to act to fix a problem. You unknowingly complete the request, and the thief has your information.

If you believe you may have encountered a phishing scam, you should update any passwords to the targeted login/account. If you think you may have accidentally provided card information, contact us immediately.

Mobile Apps and Text Message Scams

Only download apps and sign up for text services through trusted app stores. Sometimes, however, even the most trusted service can be breached by scammers and hackers. If your phone bill seems to have additional charges, contact your wireless provider to resolve the issue.

Data Breaches

Chances are you've heard about data breaches in the news. It may seem like only the big-box retailers are the ones who admit to a data breach; in reality, hundreds of small retail and web stores are hit by hackers every day. Often, companies don't realize that their systems have been compromised until days or even weeks later.

If you have received notice of a data breach or compromised card, please contact us immediately.

Fake Charities

The holiday season is the most popular time for people to participate in charitable giving. Generally, there isn't anything to worry about, but sometimes a scam slips under the radar. Fake charity scams are similar to phishing - most often an email is sent to you that is a copy of an official correspondence. Fake charity scams should be handled just like phishing or data breaches.

Malware

Malware is generally the culprit behind data breaches. A cyber hacker finds targets with low or outdated security and installs software into the website or payment processing system. This software (called malware) then collects private information, such as card numbers and login passwords. If you have noticed any suspicious account activity, please contact We Florida Financial. In many cases our fraud detection systems will pick up suspicious activity, but it's also important to remain vigilant.

Remember, we are always here to help. If you have encountered, or even suspect any possible scam or fraud attempt on your account, please let us know. We Florida Financial prides itself on putting members first, and our team of experts is on your side. Call MemberNet directly at 954-745-2400, or 800-230-0200 if you are outside of Broward County. To report a lost or stolen credit or debit card, please call 800-449-7728.

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