Sadly, the holiday season is the time when unsuspecting members experience account fraud. You can avoid this by always following these tips:
1) NEVER give your card number out over the phone to ANYONE who calls you. Lately, fraudsters purport to be from Verizon or the Internal Revenue Service. These callers make it sound like you may be arrested or have your phone service disconnected if you do not pay now. These are always fraudlent calls. Folks you do business with regularly will never ask you to give your card number over the phone.
2) Keep track of your account and report unauthorized charges to your financial institution immediately.
3) Scrutinize machines before you swipe. If you see anything unusual attached to the card reader, do not swipe your card. Alert the owner of the machine. Card skimmers are being detected all over and are found on ATMs and store terminals.
4) Lastly, don't beleive emails from friends or family that state the loved one is "trapped" in a foreign country and needs money. Before withdrawing funds from your account, contact that friend or family member. You'll likely discover that they are safely at home and that their email got hacked. The typical scam is where someone is visiting the Philippines, Thailand, or elsewhere in the world and has run into trouble with the law, had a wallet stolen, or is in the hospital. They need a lot of money in a hurry and you are their only hope. Don't fall for it.
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