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National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month

by Troy Lambert, VP – Deposit & eServices Director

During this holiday season, there are many things to look forward to. Gathering with friends and family, delicious food, and the nostalgic memories of years past. However, it is also one of the busiest times a year for fraudsters. This holiday season, here are a few things to keep an eye out for so the Grinch doesn’t steal your holiday.

  • Be wary of any phone call, text, or email that is threatening to you. For example, a lot of fraudsters will pretend to be a government official that is “investigating” you. In order to stop the process, you will need to pay a “fine”, typically in the form of gift cards. This might sound silly but I have personally seen this happen to people in the community several times already in 2021.
  • Never let someone email, message, or text you a copy of a check that they want to give you. If you receive a picture of one of these checks, delete it immediately.
  • If anyone asks you to purchase gift cards or to wire money but tells you that you cannot tell anyone the “real” reason you are doing it, that is a big red flag. Do not follow through and instead sit down with your banker to discuss what is going on.
  • Don’t click on links in emails, social media messages, or text messages if you don’t 110% know what it is for. There are many scams right now that utilize fake shipping notifications to lure victims into different scams.

Finally, the old adage of “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” has never been more accurate. Following these simple suggestions can help keep you on the safe path to having a wonderful holiday season.

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