Protect Yourself from Fraud this Holiday Season

Education | 10/20/23
A woman looks in disbelief at her phone during the holidays.

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, it’s important to protect yourself, and your cards, from fraudsters looking to take advantage of busy shoppers. In this week’s blog, Ascend has provided you with a few safety measures and preventative tips: 

Monitor Your Accounts

Stay alert and identify the first signs of fraud to your accounts by reviewing your credit card and debit card statements. It’s also a good idea to sign up for alerts to be notified of unusual or large purchases made on your card. If you’re an Ascend member, you can take advantage of card control features to secure your wallet through Ascend’s digital banking platform.

Strengthen Your Passwords

Do each of your accounts have their own unique password? To ensure that your passwords are strong, use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and varied capitalization. If any of your passwords use your personal information, like birth dates or street names, change them. They are easily guessed and can be used to hack into multiple accounts or lead to identity theft. Strengthen any weak passwords immediately to fortify your defenses against fraud. 

Shop with Caution

Only shop reputable sites and avoid clicking on pop-up ads or links in emails from unverified senders. To verify a site’s security, look for the lock icon before the URL and the “s” after “http.” Finally, make sure the security settings on your devices are up to date. 

Keep Your Cards Close

Don’t forget to take basic precautions with your cards, especially if you’ll be hitting a lot of shops before the holidays. Keep your card tucked into your wallet or purse. If you use a cardholder on your phone case, keep your phone in a safe place and make sure the card numbers are not easily visible. A great way to minimize risk is to utilize a digital wallet like Google pay or Apple pay.

Take Immediate Action

If you suspect your credit or debit card has been used fraudulently, alert your financial institution immediately. Your old card will be canceled to prevent additional charges and you’ll be issued a new one. If you’re an Ascend member and you suspect you are a victim of fraud, please call us immediately at 800-342-3086.

By following these tips, you can better shield yourself against fraud this holiday season. For more security tips, check out our blog on how to protect yourself from A.I. fraud.

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