Scams, Fraud, and Stolen Identities in the Magic Valley: Oh My!
The holiday season is here, which means that there will be traveling, shopping, getting groceries, and much more. During the holidays, spending habits are usually different than any other time of the year. You may not usually travel through the year, but for the holidays you are booking a flight to go see family and perhaps stay in a hotel if they don't have the room to house you. Many people shop at stores that they don't visit or purchase from the rest of the year. You likely shop online more and use sites you aren't as familiar with. These odd sites, stores, and spending behavior, leave you vulnerable to scams, stolen cards, stolen identities, and fraud.
Scams, Theft, and Fraud in Idaho
This is the time of year when more scams, credit card theft, and fraud happen. When shopping this holiday season, your information will be given to places that you may have never shopped, and the more your card is entered into another site, the more likely it is to get hacked. As you travel to see family and friends, prepare for hotels stealing your information. It seems like they should be safe, but recently, my wife and I had our card hacked at a hotel. We got charged for multiple rooms and went on a shopping spree to a store we had never been to. It is smart to keep an eye on your credit card statements and to check your apps and cards frequently through the holiday season.
Beware of Scams in Idaho
When it comes to scams, be careful when opening all emails this time of year. It is easy to forget what sites you have ordered from, and easy to assume an email stating a package is lost, your credit card was declined, or your account was hacked and the company needs information to verify it wasn't you are real, leading to a scam you don't want to be involved in. I recently received a phone call and email stating my card at a certain bank had been hacked, and they needed information to verify it wasn't me using the card. The problem? I have never been a member of this banking chain. It was easy to know it was a scam, but had it come from one I actively use, it would have been tougher to know if it was real or not. As sad as it is, you almost have to not trust any phone calls or emails this time of year, unless they are from someone or some business you are familiar with.
As you continue your holiday shopping and the emails pile up confirming and tracking your packages, make sure to be cautious in whatever information you give out and where. Check your bank accounts and credit cards frequently and perhaps write down where and how much your purchases are, so nothing slips through the cracks. Be safe and be smart and hopefully, you will avoid any potential scams or fraudulent acts this holiday season.