From shopping to traveling to donating, there is a boost in activity, and excitement, around the holiday season. However, along with all the cheerful commotion, there is also an increase in fraudulent activity and scam attempts. To help you recognize these attempts, here are a few common holiday scams to be aware of:
Imposter or “Fake Relative” Scams— Often targeting the elderly, imposters will pretend to be a grandchild or other relative in need of immediate financial assistance. Don’t provide any personal or financial information. If you are worried, hang up and contact a family member to confirm that your loved one is okay.
Delivery Scams— Especially around the holidays, scammers will disguise emails to look like they are from UPS, FedEx, or other delivery services. Always double check their authenticity before opening attachments, clicking links, or filling out any personal information.
Online & Social Media Shopping Scams— If you see a deal that seems too good to be true or stumble upon a social media ad for a company you’ve never heard of, always do your research before shopping or clicking any links. Chances are, once you look up the company, you’ll quickly realize it is a scam.
Gift Card Scams— Similar to online shopping scams, scammers will offer an in-demand item at an amazing price. Their only stipulation is you must pay in the form of a gift card. Because of this, it makes it virtually impossible to trace and get your money back.
Fake Charities— This type of scam can take lots of forms. From phone calls to in-person collection boxes, if you can’t tell if it’s real, don’t donate. If you still want to donate to the charity they are impersonating, go to their website and donate directly.
Giveaways/Lottery Scams— There are many giveaways happening this time of year. If you receive a check in the mail or an email proclaiming you won an alleged giveaway, be cautious. If you don’t remember entering that particular giveaway, it is a scam. Also, remember to only enter giveaways that you trust, especially when you’re required to provide personal information for submission.
As a reminder, Dakota West Credit Union will NEVER ask you for the following information via email, text, or phone call:
> Account Number
> Social Security Number
> Your Birthday
> Your Address
> Your username or password
If you receive a message and are unsure of its authenticity, call us anytime at (800) 411-7590. Visit our Fraud & Scam Information page to learn more about common scams and what to do if you think you’ve fallen victim.