It’s the season of giving. Unfortunately, it’s also the time that scammers take advantage of strangers’ kindness; leading to lost money, stolen identities, and more. Keep an eye out for these all-too-common scams that pop up around the holidays.
Watch out for emails or text claiming to be from USPS, FedEx, UPS, Amazon, or other popular couriers. These messages will usually contain typos, bad grammar, and will ask for your personal information in order to receive a package. These companies will NEVER do this.
Oftentimes, scammers prey on the giving spirit that comes with the holidays and pose as a charity in order to solicit money from victims. If you receive a call, text, or email pressuring you to give money right away, this should be a red flag. Giving to charity is a great way to give back to causes that matter most to you. Be sure to do your due diligence before giving to any organization.
Holiday Job Scams
Many companies look for seasonal help this time of year. Some scammers will post fake job ads and ask for money upfront or ask you to deposit a check on their behalf. Legitimate companies will never ask you for money and will only ask for information (like your social security number) after you’ve been interviewed and hired.
Tech Support Scams
Shopping online and come across someone claiming to be tech support? It’s best you close your browser tabs and windows and ignore them. Victims of these phishing scams will unknowingly give them money through gift cards, prepaid cards, wire transfers, or P2P transfer apps (think Venmo or CashApp) with the belief that something is critically wrong with their device. Of course, nothing is, and the scammers will run off with the money before the victim even realizes they’ve been duped.
Phishing and Smishing
The easiest way scammers steal your credit card information is by acting like a trusted source, including the credit union. Scammers will call, email, or text you with the intention of getting you to share your sensitive information, like your social security, credit card, or account numbers. These messages will try to tell you that something important – like a utility – will be shut off if you do not pay right away. They may seem convincing and may come off as threatening to the unsuspecting consumer. When the consumer clicks on a link or goes to a website provided to settle the “unpaid” bill, they’ll come across a fake website that takes their information and can begin to use it fraudulently. TruEnergy will never call or text you asking for this sensitive information.
Remember, always monitor your accounts and credit report for unfamiliar activity. You can request a free credit report from all three major credit bureaus once a year. If you feel like you’ve been a victim of fraud or a scam, contact the credit union – we’re ready to help you!