In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
As the holiday season approaches remember to protect yourself against fraud, which increases during this time of year. Every year, more and more people gravitate towards online shopping, making fraudulent activity harder to identify. Therefore, it’s important to pay more attention to your online practices and how they could potentially make you a victim.
In a time when cyber-attacks and identity theft are becoming all too common, you can (and should) take some steps to ensure that your information stays safe. Of those steps, keeping your electronic devices up to date is one of the most important.
On July 29, 2017, Equifax, one of three large U.S. credit bureaus discovered that it had experienced a data breach. The news went public on September 7, but the breach occurred over a period of time earlier in the year—from mid-May through July. According to the Equifax consumer notice, the breach compromised the credit card numbers of about 209,000 consumers, and dispute documents containing personal identifying information (names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers) of about 182,000 consumers. All in all as many as 143 million in the United States could be impacted.
For fraudsters, identity theft is a full time job, so they’re pretty good at it. They have lots of time to develop tactics for getting your personal and financial information, and social engineering has become one of their favorites.
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In the last 10 years, we have made huge leaps in the accessibility of cat videos; there are now even festivals for watching internet cat videos. Weirdly, this access to recreational media is driving expectations of banking technology.
Listen Here: The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop protecting yourself from cybercrime. Fraudsters get busy during the holiday season, harvesting information from the credit cards of generous shoppers. After the holidays, they use the data they’ve collected to wreak havoc on their victim’s accounts.
Credit Card fraud is on the rise and is especially common during the holiday season. In a Reuter’s article addressing holiday fraud last year it was indicated that an upswing in fraudulent activity occurred, increasing from 1 in 114 transactions in 2014 to 1 in 86 transactions in 2015. The expectation is that holiday fraud will continue to rise in 2016, even as EMV “chip” cards and technology become more common. Although the switch to chip card technology has occurred, it is anticipated that fraud on e-commerce transactions will increase as fraud in brick and mortar establishments decreases. This is based on what was experienced in Europe after the conversion to EMV chip cards occurred there. Fraudsters shifted their activity from brick and mortar purchases to e-commerce (internet purchases).
Financial Fraudsters Prey on Vulnerable Adults Elder financial abuse is a problem in Vermont and across the country. Vulnerable adults can fall prey to the scams of strangers and exploitation by family members. There are no reliable statistics for the incidence of elder financial abuse in Vermont, but a 2011 study, conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, notes that “the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion dollars, a 12% increase from the $2.6 billion estimated in 2008.” The study notes that over half of the reports of elder financial abuse are perpetrated by strangers, while about 34% of abusers are reported to be family, friends, and neighbors.