Rising Holiday Season Scams Spark Consumer Alert from IU Credit Union

Staff report

Bloomington, Indiana – November 17, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, IU Credit Union issues a cautionary advisory to consumers, emphasizing vigilance against a surge in common scams prevalent during this time of the year.

The financial institution, prioritizing the safety and financial well-being of its customers, has underscored several preventive measures to shield against potential scams that typically escalate during the festive season.

Account Protection Measures:

IU Credit Union advocates for safeguarding personal accounts by setting up Card Controls and Alerts in Online or Mobile Banking platforms. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of regular account monitoring while strictly advising against the sharing of sensitive information like account numbers, card details, one-time passcodes, PINs, or login credentials.

Tips for Recognizing and Avoiding Scams:

Highlighting the importance of verifying the identity of unknown sources, IU Credit Union advises caution regarding unsolicited communication purporting to be from financial institutions requesting personal data. In cases of doubt about the legitimacy of such contacts, IU Credit Union urges customers to discontinue communication and directly reach out to the organization through secure channels found on their official website.

The credit union also recommends a cautious approach to evaluating the credibility of online sellers, particularly when presented with remarkable offers on potentially dubious websites. Emphasizing the importance of HTTPS protocol in website URLs and advocating thorough research and review reading before engaging with new online platforms, the union advises vigilance, especially with sellers making claims of being in the U.S. while stating they are abroad due to various reasons.

Securing the Purchase and Shipping Process:

IU Credit Union warns of phishing attempts using emails or texts that appear to be from renowned companies like FedEx, UPS, or Amazon, often related to shipment notifications. Advocating for caution against clicking on suspicious links or attachments to prevent potential malware, the credit union urges consumers to confirm official tracking numbers and monitor delivery statuses on verified company websites.

Safe Payment Practices:

Highlighting the need for prudence when sharing financial information online, the union cautions against wiring money directly to sellers and advises against using prepaid gift cards for payment, a method often exploited by scammers.

IU Credit Union suggests the use of credit cards, specifically endorsing their own, and urges consumers to regularly review statements for unrecognized charges, with a prompt recommendation to contact the credit card company to dispute any suspicious transactions.

In concluding remarks, IU Credit Union cautions consumers that if an offer appears too good to be true, it likely is. They encourage a vigilant approach throughout the holiday season and extend a direct invitation to customers to seek assistance if they have doubts about any transaction or communication.

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