No one wants to think about having their personal information stolen, but we want our members to be aware that fraud happens. In today’s digital age, it happens more often than you might know.
We want to bring you the latest information about scams and ways you can protect yourself. Check out the information below on ways to keep your information safe.
We know everyone loves to shop online! Especially around the holidays! While online shopping is simple and convenient, it is also an easy way to become the victim of a scam.
We have some tips below to keep you safe while shopping online:
- Look out for fake websites and apps. Be careful of websites that look similar to legitimate websites, but may have poor grammar or misspelled words. Also, do not use any websites or apps that ask for suspicious permissions like access to your passwords or credit card information.
- Do not click on links from unfamiliar email sources. Emails will often look very similar to ones sent by retailers or other companies you use. These links can lead you to websites that are not secure or even download viruses to your computer.
- Be sure the website you are using to make online purchases is secure. Websites that have “https” at the beginning of their URL have a protected network connection, making them safer to use.
- Do not use public wi-fi to shop online or access sensitive information. Public wi-fi connections may not be secure, which can expose your personal information to scammers.
- Always be sure to monitor your accounts, credit card, and bank statements. Monitoring your accounts on a regular basis will ensure you catch fraud as quickly as possible to minimize loss.
The IRS this week warned consumers to be on the lookout for “new, sophisticated email phishing scams” as the holidays and the 2019 tax filing season approach. The agency said there was a 60 percent increase in “bogus” email schemes seeking to steal money or tax data in 2018.
The fraudulent campaigns are using email subject lines including “IRS Important Notice” or “IRS Taxpayer Notice.” The agency’s statement notes that these schemes can be spotted by misspellings and bad grammar; if such a message is received, taxpayers are encouraged to forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further tips provided by the IRS that credit unions can provide to their members to ward off these phishing attempts include:
- never open a link or attachment from an unknown or suspicious source;
- the IRS never initiates random contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information;
- phishing schemes only work if people open the message and click on the hyperlinks;
- have in place security software to protect against malware and viruses found in phishing emails;
- update and use strong passwords to protect online accounts; and
- use multi-factor authentication if available.