Shopping online for the holidays? Getting ready for gatherings? While you’re busy doing that, scammers are busy snooping around for your private information. In the hustle during holidays we sometimes forget to keep a close eye on our surroundings and accounts.

Follow these tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud: 
  • Check your statements and bank account activity regularly. If you can, set up alerts and check your balances daily.
  • Ensure the site you are using is a secure and reputable site before you provide any personal information such as your credit card number. 
 
  • Beware of purchases or services that require payment with a gift card.  This is not a normal payment method and it is likely fraud.
  • Do not click on links contained within unsolicited emails.
  • Only open attachments from known sources. 
  • Links, pictures and files from unknown sources can contain viruses or malware that will steal your information.
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in emails requesting your personal information.
  • Verify requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website. Do not use the information a caller or emailer sends to you asking to contact them for verification!
  • Secure your credit card accounts, bank accounts, and rewards accounts with strong passwords.  Be sure to change the passwords routinely. 
  • Be careful of unsolicited emails with work-from-home employment offers and take extra caution when the job postings claim “no experience necessary"
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals or companies outside of the country. 
  • Donate to known and trusted charities only. Most legitimate charities use .org (not .com)
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and always keep your personal belongings secure.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! 
An Advancial employee will never call, email or text you and ask for your personal information.  If we call you, we may ask some questions to verify your identity but they will not involve your account numbers, personal identification number (PIN), social security number, online banking password, or any other sensitive information.
If you suspect that your account may be compromised, contact the Advancial Fraud Department immediately at 972.201.1820. Additionally, you can contact law enforcement or you can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

Watch this video to learn more about identity theft and how scammers gain access to your personal information for their financial gain.