‘Tis the Season… For Fraud


Welcome to 2020 
The new year is giving scammers an easy way to forge documents, but you can protect yourself with an easy New Year’s resolution: Stop abbreviating the year.
Why? This year’s abbreviation is easily changeable and could be used against you.
The concern is that scammers could easily manipulate a document dated “1/1/20” into “1/1/2000” or even “1/1/2021.”

– USA Today – click here for full article



‘Tis the Season… For Fraud[i]

Are you keeping an eye on your online shopping cart?  Fraudsters are, too.  The holidays typically introduce fraud involving e-skimming, fake charities, porch pirates, false shipping notifications/payment fraud, and other scams.  Between parties, gift giving, and travel – you can easily get distracted and let your guard down.  Be sure you are educated on the latest scams and trends.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and last-minute holiday shopping?  This time of the year typically brings frequent online and in-store purchases.  Whether it is through a mobile app, on a website, or in-person, remember to be aware and diligent about who you are purchasing goods and services from.  Some of the latest scams include:

  • E-skimming: Scammers exploit weak links on an e-commerce platform.  In many cases, you can be redirected to a malicious domain where the skimming code can capture your information from the checkout page.  The skimming code can capture your personal information in real-time and send it to a remote server where the data is collected by the criminals behind the scene.  Your credit/debit card data could either be sold or used to make fraudulent purchases from that point going forward.
  • Social media scams:  A newer version of online shopping scams involves the use of social media platforms to set up fake, online stores.  By using social media to advertise the fake website; scammers take your payment, but you member will never see the goods.
  • Porch pirates: Year-round, but especially near the holidays, criminals steal packages from the doorstep/porch of unsuspecting homes, apartments, businesses, etc.
  • Shipment update scams: Fraudsters send a fake email notifying you of a delivery failure or the request for updated shipping information.  The email may look like it is coming from the original sender, but it contains a link with malware.
  • Donation and fake charities: People love giving back this time of year and scammers know it.  Similar to online scams, donation scams often try to replicate a charity website convincing you to donate money – which goes right to the criminal.


Tips to prevent being a victim

  • Sign up for transaction alerts to monitor for unauthorized transactions.
  • Pay attention to emails, links, and websites. Think before you click!
  • Avoid entering card information on web forms (could be malware installed); instead, use your stored payment information when possible such as Amazon pay or PayPal.
  • Ensure home computers, laptops, and mobile devices are protected with antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
  • Use well-known websites for online purchasing.
  • Go directly to the website rather than through social media website advertisements.
  • Be cautious for skimming or shimming devices when using ATMs or gas pumps. For gas pumps, try to use the pump closest to the entrance door as they are less likely to be a target for skimmers.
  • Review and monitor your accounts daily and report any discrepancies immediately.



[i] Information provided by CUNA Mutual Group.