Holiday Fraud Schemes & Prevention

Fraud Schemes

While fraud is a year-round challenge for consumers and businesses alike, during the holiday season, fraud attempts and schemes tend to spike given the volume of spending and stress that often accompany this time of year.

At TriState Capital Bank, we take fraud prevention seriously – and we would like to provide you information on a number of fraud practices you may encounter, so you can avoid becoming a victim.

Some common holiday scams include:

Season Travel Scams
  • Beware of deals that seem too good to be true
  • Research and be diligent of the party through whom you are booking your travel
Holiday Charity Scams
  • Legitimate charities welcome donations whenever you choose to make them. Fraudulent actors will pressure you to make them immediately
  • Don’t make any donation with a gift card or wire transfer

Here is a refresher of several important fraud methods you may encounter:

Skimming is perpetrated by using electronic devices to surreptitiously scan and store credit and debit card numbers and PINs. ATMs and some unattended terminals, such as gas stations, are targets for this practice. This information can then be sold to fraudulent actors or used to commit theft directly. Fraudulent actors can then use the numbers to make online purchases or to create fake cards for in-store transactions.

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords, account number and credit card numbers.

SMiShing (SMS phishing) is the act of attempting to acquire personal information such as passwords and details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity through SMS text messages on cell phones. SMiShing messages may come from telephone numbers that are in a strange or unexpected format with links directing to fake websites. A typical SMiShing occurrence can begin with an individual receives a text message inquiring about a suspicious transaction on an account. In reality, the fraudulent actor is looking to obtain other information from the individual such as debit/credit card numbers, CV2 codes, expiration dates, PINs and other web login credentials.

Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing. It is described as the act of using the telephone to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for fraudulent purchases or identity theft. Criminals in possession of account or card details and other forms of personally identifiable information (PII) may be able to spoof your financial institution’s phone number to fool you into thinking text messages are from the fraud department.

Please know that legitimate SMS text messages from TriState Capital Bank will NEVER include:

  • Requests for account or cardholder data, such as card numbers, PINs, CV2 codes
  • Vague reference of a “merchant” transaction; details should be included
  • Hyperlinks to unknown websites, or phone numbers represented as hyperlinks

 

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