The internet has become an essential tool for everyone, especially during the pandemic. According to Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans say the internet is essential or important to them, and 40% are using the internet in new ways, including for online transactions.1
Technology continues to improve our lives and simplify everyday tasks, from shopping to banking. However, our digital lifestyles are a double-edged sword. Although technology makes our lives easier, it also presents new opportunities for cybercriminals.
It’s true. Scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your money and personal information. If you know what to look for and a few key tips to follow when interacting with information online, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe! Read up on the most common scams affecting people today and learn what to watch out for.
We Pacific Northwesterners are proud and resilient. As a community we tend to embody the credit union philosophy of people helping people. We are here for our neighbors, our friends, our community. Here are four community resources that you can take advantage of during these times.
Cybercriminals are continually working on new strategies to profit from stealing your credentials and even your identity, and they are continuing to refine forms of cyberattacks that have proved profitable in the past. That’s why the volume of phishing threats continues to grow.
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security Number, to file a tax return claiming your refund. According to the IRS, reversing the damage caused by tax related identity theft can be a frustrating and complex process for victims. In addition, scammers will use tax season as an opportunity to commit fraud, pretending to be the IRS, and asking consumers for cash, or asking consumers to convert cash to gift cards which is an easy ways to transmit cash without the possibility of detection when the card is used. Protecting your identity is critical year-round but especially important during the busy tax season.
Identity theft is a constant in the news, not only because it is prevalent, but also because the consequences of identity theft can be serious. As soon as someone steals your identity, they can open credit cards, take out loans, or even sign for a mortgage in your name. Your best defense against identity theft is awareness, and understanding what to do if you become a victim.
There are more cybercriminals out there than ever before, and they want your money! Sure, they also target major retailers, financial institutions, and big businesses, but the internet gives them reach into virtually every household. That’s why the number of online banking scams continues to rise—because consumers can be easily tricked into opening their bank accounts to online criminals.
Banking has never been easier thanks to new technologies that let you use your smartphone for banking or shopping, your computer to make remote transactions, and smart credit and debit cards to simplify payments. Unfortunately, that same technology also has created new opportunities for criminals to commit bank fraud. New payment systems and technologies have opened new avenues for cybercriminals to steal your identity and access your bank and credit card accounts.
Credit card fraud is rampant, and it’s getting worse. Although consumers seldom have to pay for credit card fraud themselves, every dollar of fraud costs banks and credit unions $2.92. When you consider that worldwide losses from credit card fraud are expected to reach $32.82 billion this year, those are huge costs for financial institutions and merchants.