Holiday Fraud Alert

December 6, 2022

Man dressed as Santa Claus using a laptopSTOP! Think! Scammers are everywhere this holiday season. They use many dirty tricks to get you to click on a link or reveal personal information. Look at all your emails and texts carefully. Much of the fraud we have seen involves scammers convincing people to give access to their online banking. Here is an example of a typical “refund” scam you might see:

  • You receive an email or call from what looks like a legitimate business stating they have a refund due to you
  • The “business” (scammer) asks you to access your computer and online banking to provide the refund
  • You see a refund in your account; however, it is for more than it should be
    • Business (scammer) asks you to withdraw excess and return it in a prepaid gift card, cash or wire transfer
  • Business (scammer) is not actually refunding you. They are transferring money between two of your accounts and you believed it was a refund

To avoid this and other scams, remember these tips!

  • Don’t allow anyone access to your computer or online banking
  • Call business back after looking up the phone number (not using the number the fraudster called from) to confirm a refund is due
  • If you do allow access to your computer, call the bank immediately
  • Legitimate businesses will not ask for access to online banking to provide refunds
  • Companies like Microsoft and Norton will not contact you by phone about a refund owed

If you think you may have been scammed, or you are unsure about a communication you received, contact us as soon as you can!

For additional information to protect yourself from scams and fraud, visit cisa.gov.