Continue to Protect Against “Holiday Scams” Beyond the Holiday Season!

Produced by Ann Davidson, Vice President of Risk Consulting

Consumer scams, transaction risks and loan application fraud attempts ramp up during this purchase-heavy time of year. However, these crimes are sure to continue long after the holidays. 

Watch the Webinar: 2019 Fraud Outlook: Looking Back to Look Ahead

As the holiday season comes to a close and the New Year approaches, it is important your financial institution stays alert to these fraud threats, while continuing to put fraud education in front of your employees and account holders.

Review and share the following holiday-related scam education, to keep the season merry and bright for you and your consumers – during the holidays and beyond! 

5 Holiday Scam Prevention Tips for Financial Institutions:

#1: Require multiple authentication layers for account access online, over the phone, and in branch.

#2: Offer cardholders the option to receive instant transaction alerts via email/phone/text, and consider offering them the option to instantly turn their card on and off via text/app.

#3: Be cautious of business email compromise scams when sending out wires, especially during the holidays when these attacks tend to rise.

#4: Take extra steps to verify the identity of a new loan or account applicant before approving any new loans, accounts, or products.

#5: Validate the source of any paper check deposit, ACH transfer, or wire transaction before clearing these.

Download the Risk Checklist: Holiday Scam Prevention for Financial Institutions and Consumers

Essential Holiday Scam Prevention Tips for Consumers:

  • Be on the lookout for anything suspicious or ‘scam-like’ when receiving communications related to the following: 
    • Tech support from an unknown source
    • Free cash offers
    • E-cards from an unknown person/email
    • Seasonal job offers from unknown persons/organizations
    • Free items or coupons from unknown persons/retailers - These scams are extremely popular, especially during the holiday season
    • Checks or gift cards from an unknown person/source
    • Social media messages/offers from an unknown source
    • Emailed, mobile, social media, or web ads/deals that seem too good to be true (hint: they usually are!) 
  • Always use your chip card when shopping in store.
  • Check your financial accounts regularly, to confirm your recognize all listed transactions.
  • Create unique, complex passwords for all of your secure accounts.
  • Sign up for additional account verification and protection methods whenever offered – i.e. a security question or unique login code via phone/text/email.
  • Sign up for text/email/phone notifications through your financial institution or other verified sources (i.e. the Mint app) to receive immediate transaction alerts
  • Immediately contact your financial institution to report suspicious card activity; if given the option, turn your card off immediately.
  • If you receive a phone call or text claiming to be from your financial institution and asking for need personal or financial information, call your financial institution directly to verify the request before providing any info.
  • Don’t click or open an attachment if you don’t know the email sender
  • If you receive a suspicious email or attachment from an email sender you know, open up and send a new email to the individual to verify they sent it
  • Do not send or respond to an email where the listed email address redirects you to a different email address when replying. 
  • Be careful when downloading unfamiliar retailer/shopping apps, as fake apps are created to steal your information, especially during the holidays.
  • Be on the lookout for fake charity scams, which ramp up after catastrophes and during the holidays; verify the legitimacy of a charity before contributing to any donation requests from an unknown source.
  • Be aware of “sweetheart scams” where a stranger reaches out with a claim of romantic interest, and then eventually asks for your money or financial information. 
  • Purchase gift cards in-store or even through your financial institution, to avoid empty gift card scams.


Let’s all work together to protect against fraud attempts of any kind, so we can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and 2019!

Download “Risk Checklist: Holiday Scam Prevention for Financial Institutions and Consumers” to access more holiday-related scam prevention methods. 

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Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.

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