Back to all articles
View all blog posts under category Security View all blog posts under category News

Safeguarding Your Finances: A Guide to Recognizing and Avoiding Scams

December 04, 2023
In today's digital age, where convenience meets technology, it's crucial to stay vigilant and informed to protect your hard-earned money. The holiday season is quickly approaching and although it’s a wonderful time of year, it also brings scams. Traditionally, the holidays mark a time in which fraudsters ramp up their scams and schemes.  

Here is a list of the most common holiday scams and tips on protecting yourself.
  1. Bitcoin scam: Fraudsters quickly establish a rapport with their targets, pressuring them into settling a fake debt or returning funds. They guide the victims to withdraw money from their bank accounts and then deposit it into a nearby Bitcoin ATM.
  2. Social engineering: This is when a fraudster impersonates an institution to trick end users into sharing their account credentials, which are then later used for account takeover.
  3. Tech support scam: Fraudsters want you to believe you have a serious problem with your computer, like a virus. They want you to pay for tech support services you don't need, to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They often ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, or using cryptocurrency or a money transfer app because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.
  4. Online shopping scams: Prioritize secure websites for online transactions, indicated by "https://" and a padlock symbol in the address bar. Avoid deals that seem too good to be true, and only purchase from reputable sources. 
  5. Text messages: You may receive a text claiming you are eligible for a refund for an item you never purchased. This is one scenario scammers use to get your credit card information. They may impersonate a well-known store, or even your bank.
  6. Email phishing: Just like texts, email is another way to get your credentials or download a malicious file. They often take the form of a bogus delivery confirmation or impersonate a well-known retailer or your bank. 
  7. Fake charities: Stick with well-known charitable organizations and do not pay by gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfer.
  8. Sketchy gift exchanges: Social media platforms are famous for this scam where you agree to send a small gift or money to someone with the promise of receiving much more in return. You are usually out the money and your personal information.

As your trusted bank, we want to help you safeguard your finances from potential scams. 
  • If a situation feels off, it probably is. Trust your instincts and investigate.
  • Never trust caller ID as caller ID may be modified to show your financial institution’s name. 
  • Never click on links in or respond to unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Contact your bank to verify the legitimacy of a request. 
  • Never share account passwords, PINs, one-time passcodes, Social Security numbers, or credit and debit card numbers. 

By staying vigilant and implementing these practices, you play a crucial role in securing your financial well-being. 

If you ever have concerns or questions, we are here to assist you. 
by Middlesex Savings Bank