| Avoiding Holiday Scams
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Farm Bureau Bank News Avoiding Holiday Scams

November, 2017

The holidays put everyone in a frenzy-retailers, shoppers, and even scammers. You will be bombarded with ads, coupons, and emails, which makes it easy for fraudulent scams to go unnoticed. Whether you're an early or late shopper, try your best to keep an eye out for some of these scams all holiday season long.

  • Look-alike websites:

    It's common for scammers to mimic the look of a popular online site and steal payment information. Always check a website's URL to make sure there aren't any extra words or letters that seem suspicious. When shopping online, look for the lock icon in the URL bar to ensure it is a secure site.

  • Unusual forms of payment:

    Do not pay for any items that require a prepaid card, gift cards, wire transfer, or other forms of payment that seem out of the ordinary. You cannot get your money back when paying with these methods, which is why scammers want to use them. Often, payments cannot be traced and are guaranteed for the scammer.

  • Emergency scams:

    Some fraudsters will call you claiming to be a family member or friend needing money due to an accident or other emergency. If you receive a call like this, do not send any money even if the name appears as someone you know; it's best to hang-up and call the person who supposedly called you- not using redial. These calls can appear on your phone as the actual person's name, even when it's not.

  • Fake charities:

    Many scammers take advantage of shoppers by organizing fake charities online or through social media. It's easy to feel generous during the holidays, but be sure to do proper research for any charity you are interested in donating to. Often, a scammer will use a name similar to an actual charity to deceive people. You can visit for charity information.

  • Fake shipping notifications:

    You may receive shipping notification emails throughout the holidays asking you to view your shipment or track your package. If you are not expecting a package, do not follow the links on the email, they can be harmful and download malware on your device once clicked. If you are expecting packages, it's best to log onto your account on the company's website and track packages there to help protect yourself from scammers.

Remember, it's best to make online purchases on your own Wi-Fi network rather than a public network and never click on any email links you are suspicious of. The holidays are a great time of the year- just be sure to keep your guard up when shopping.


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