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Holiday Fraud

Be on the Lookout for Various Forms of Holiday Fraud

With the holiday season comes an increase in fraud and scams. Here are several important fraud methods debit card users may see:

Brute Force

Brute Force schemes are attempts to crack a password or username, find a hidden web page, or find the key used to encrypt a message using a trial-and-error approach to guess correctly.


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 is then sold to fraudsters or used to commit theft directly.


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 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. They may come from phone numbers that are in a strange or unexpected format with links directing to fake websites. A typical SMiShing occurrence can begin with a cardholder receiving a text message inquiring about a suspicious transaction on an account. Legitimate SMS text messages will NEVER include: requests for cardholder’s data, such as card numbers, PINs, CV2 Codes, or Expiration Dates, vague reference of a “merchant” transaction, hyperlinks to unknown websites or phone numbers as hyperlinks.


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 ID theft.

Seasonal Travel Scams

Deals that are too good to be true.

Holiday Charity Scams

A legitimate charity will welcome donations whenever the cardholder chooses to make it. Fraudsters will pressure them to make it immediately. Don’t make any donation with a gift card or wire transfer.

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