Holiday Shopping Brings Increased Risk for Consumers
Black Friday is right around the corner, which means the holiday shopping season has arrived. With that comes an increased risk for consumers to fall victim to fraud and cyber scams.
Norton's 2023 Cyber Safety Insights Report shows that as many as 25% of consumers have been targeted by scams when shopping online and over half are concerned about security when shopping online. The report noted that cybercriminals primarily targeted victims by connecting through social media platforms (46%), third-party websites (35%) email (32%), phone calls (29%) and text messages (28%).
Additionally, banks all over the country are reporting more cases of check fraud, in which checks are stolen from the U.S. mail system, or banks are flooded with bad checks from multiple check deposit points. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network notes that check fraud reporting doubled in 2022 from the previous year, reaching 680,000 cases reported by financial institutions. Read more about what we have been seeing locally here.
"This holiday season, we expect to see an uptick in check fraud as holiday cards are sent between family and friends," said Scott Zurborg, risk management and information security officer at Availa Bank in Johnston. "We encourage consumers to keep an eye on their mailbox and routinely check their online bank information to identify possible fraudulent transactions. The avenues for check fraud are vast and it takes a partnership between community banks and consumers to combat the growing epidemic of fraudulent check activities."
With holiday scams ramping up, and the prevalence of check fraud, we aim to help educate our community on how to protect yourself from becoming victims of fraud. The resources listed below can help.