Financial Friday: Avoid Getting Scammed This Holiday Season

Avoid getting scammed this holiday season

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There is never a good time to get scammed out of your money. But the pain may be intensified when it happens during the holidays.

Scammers are out in full force this year trying to take advantage of your holiday cheer. Redstone Federal Credit Union’s Jonathan Kirby, vice president of Security and Investigations, offered up the following tips to help you spot those scams and protect your money.

  1. Just Hang Up: Avoid calls from anyone claiming they have identified a virus on your cell phone or computer. Avoid calls from anyone offering to hire you for a work-from-home job that pays more than you might expect, especially if they ask you for your checking number or banking information to issue your paycheck.
  2. Know Who You Are Sending Money To: RFCU has seen victims who thought they were buying items from strangers through “CASH APP,” but the items never arrived. Once that money is sent, it is likely gone forever. Kirby says they’ve seen several members recently that have been victimized by individuals they met online through social media or a dating website. Please avoid sending money to anyone you may have met online.
  3. Check Out That Charity: Receiving emails from a ‘charity’ seeking help for victims of COVID-19, needy children, wildfires, etc. Check it out before sending your money or giving out your credit card or debit card information.
  4. Don’t Pay to Win: Never wire funds or purchase gift cards as a result of a call or email request from someone claiming you owe money or you have been selected the winner of sweepstakes. Funds that are wired out or sent via a money transfer service can rarely be retrieved if later found to be fraudulent.
  5. Don’t Click That: Do not click on any links in emails or text messages claiming that your password has to be reset or your account has been compromised and you need to validate information via the link. The link will install a virus on your phone or PC or may grant them access to your phone or PC.
  6. Be careful when buying items online: Check out the retail site first and make sure it is secure and reputable.
  7. For more information and ways to protect yourself against money fraud schemes, you can visit: redfcu.org/stopscams

For more ways to save, be sure to check out “Financial Friday” every Friday on WAFF 48 News at Noon.

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