Avoiding Fraud During the Holiday Season

As we head into the holidays, there are many things on the minds of everyone: ordering gifts, getting food for celebrations, and so forth. But one thing to keep in mind is also that even though it’s the Holiday Season, fraudsters and scammers are still out there, causing problems and grief for everyone.

There are ways to help mitigate fraud and scams throughout the Holiday Season, as well as throughout the year. Here are three helpful tips to keep in mind:

Internet/Mobile Banking Sign up for ItsMe247 Online Baking or Mobile Banking. Sometimes fraudulent transactions aren’t large, single transaction amounts. There are instances of fraud being smaller dollar transactions with a large number of small transactions happening over a short period of time. Also, sign up for e-alerts to receive electronic alerts when account balances get to a certain level, ACH items are posted, loan payments are coming due or when an e-notice is generated.

Always read the fine print: If a merchant is selling a product and states that all you need to pay for is shipping and handling, most of the time it is a trial offer. Most of these offers are on a 14-day trial period, and if the offer isn’t canceled in that timeframe, and the merchandise sent back to the merchant, the cardholder will automatically be charged the full amount of the product and placed into a subscription from the merchant. You will continue to be charged the subscription rate until they cancel the subscription with the merchant.

Hang up on IRS, grandchild or other phishing calls: If you receive a call from someone stating that they’re with the IRS and they need to pay a sum amount or be arrested, it’s a scam. Other phishing calls include a fraudster pretending to be a child or grandchild who is stuck in another country or was arrested in another country and needs money sent to them. As a reminder, never provide personal information to someone over the phone or on the Internet.


If you ever feel you have been a victim of fraud, please contact Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union directly by calling (605) 367-7070.