Protect Yourself from Scammers this Holiday Season
With the holidays in full swing, you may find your already hectic schedule overflowing with festive parties, gift shopping excursions, meal preparations and trips to visit friends and family. Fraudsters tend to strike hardest during the holidays, hoping you’ll be too distracted by the seasonal hustle and bustle to question their exploits.
At Origin Bank, we know how scammers work and have tips to help you avoid falling prey to common fraud tactics, so your holidays stay merry and bright.
Scammers use a variety of schemes to try to trick you into revealing your personal information including bank or credit card account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), or your social security number. Some of the most common schemes include:
● Email Phishing. You may receive an email that appears to come from a trusted source, asking you to click on a link or go to a website to provide your personal information, often threatening to suspend your account if you don’t act quickly. Remember that reputable companies will never ask you to reveal your personal information or PIN in an email message, so never reply or click on links that ask you to share those details.
● SMiShing. Similar to email phishing, fraudsters seek to obtain your personal or financial information through official-looking correspondence, but instead of using emails they send messages to your cell phone or via social media messages. As with email phishing, don’t click on links or reply to these types of message requests.
● Gift Card Scams. Fraudsters know that gift cards are popular items to give during the holidays and have devised ways to dupe even the savviest into buying them for their purposes. If you receive an email or text claiming to be from someone you know asking you to buy gift cards for them, take a minute to question the request – would this person really contact me with an urgent need to buy them gift cards? If it doesn’t make sense, chances are it's not a real request.
● Snail Mail Theft. With so many focused on online scams, it’s easy to forget that fraudsters can use snail mail, or traditional paper mail, to capture your sensitive information. In 2022, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) saw an uptick in mail theft, with criminals finding ways to retrieve mail directly from official USPS mailboxes. To protect your information, it’s best to place outgoing mail at mailboxes located inside USPS locations and be sure to retrieve your incoming mail as quickly as possible, never letting it sit overnight.
Want to learn more? Visit Origin’s Online Security Center for more information on how to spot a scam plus additional tips to help keep your personal and business information safe.