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Top Tips for Safe and Secure Holiday Shopping

The holidays are right around the corner! Unfortunately, scammers are lurking around the corner, too. As you prepare to celebrate the festive season and shop for gifts, it's important to be aware of the latest holiday shopping scams — and what you can do to protect yourself.

#1: Avoid “too good to be true" deals

When you're shopping online for holiday gifts, watch out for deals and discounts that seem too good to be true. In one trending scam, fraudsters use social media to advertise popular items at unbelievably low prices. If you click through and order from their phony website, you could end up with a low-quality item — or nothing at all! Only order from reputable online retailers you know and trust, and use a credit card for greater fraud protection.

#2: Keep a close eye on your financial accounts

During the busy holiday shopping season, scammers are counting on people paying less attention to their spending so fraudulent transactions can slip through. Fight fraud by checking your accounts frequently, if not daily. Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) Mobile and Online Banking makes it easy! If you notice an unfamiliar purchase or withdrawal, report it right away.

​#3: Remember, gift cards are for gifts (not payments!)

While gift cards make great presents for friends and family members, they're also a preferred payment method among scammers. According to the FTC, about one in four people who report losing money to fraud said they paid with a gift card.

Especially around the holidays, watch out for fraudsters listing hard-to-find gifts, vacation packages and even puppies for sale online. If someone only accepts payment with gift cards or another untraceable method, chances are it is a scam. 

Scammers may also contact you pretending to be your boss or a family member, asking you to pick up specific gift cards as a “favor." No matter the reason, be suspicious of anyone who demands you pay them with a gift card. Once you send the card (or card details), the money is gone for good!  

Shop Smarter This Holiday Season

Don't let scammers steal your seasonal cheer! At Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU), we have helpful fraud prevention tips, tools and resources to help you fight fraud during the holidays and beyond.