The holiday season is in full swing now, and you likely have a list of things to do that is just as long as Santa’s. While this is a truly magical time of year — twinkling lights aglow, Christmas music setting the tone in stores, and everyone feeling the Christmas spirit – the holidays also provide an entry point for scammers to strike because of our increased online activity.
Fret not! At Tull Financial, we are always looking for ways to better safeguard your financial future and encourage you to consider adding one more item to your list by staying vigilant against scams this holiday season.
Knowing what to look for is one way to prevent scams.
While shopping or accessing your bank account online this holiday season, take a moment to double check the domain name of the site before inputting any personal information.
A common scheme involves fake websites made to look like you are shopping at your favorite stores. Once you input your credit card information, scammers then use your credit card data to make unauthorized purchases. Imposter websites aren’t limited to stores either — they can resemble your financial institution, streaming service or even the DMV, all in an effort to steal your personal and account information.
- Stay alert as scam websites often have similar URLs and can look nearly identical to real sites. For example, the URL: www.bankoffamerica.com is suspicious because of the extra “f” in “of.”
- Be especially careful of clicking links through an email, social media, or the top of search results. Hover over links to reveal the full URLs, and don’t click on abbreviated links or links you can’t tell where they lead.
- If you suspect a breach or fraud, contact us and your financial institution immediately.
For more tips on how to spot fake websites, check out this article from the Better Business Bureau.
Schwab has also written an informative article that discusses recent fraud trends as well as practical steps to help prevent your accounts and information from becoming compromised.
In between all the hustle and bustle of finding the perfect gifts, please take a moment to ensure you are buying gifts for your loved ones — not a scammer. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to our continued partnership in the new year!