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As the holiday season begins, here are some helpful tips to avoid scams that are currently circulating:

  • Emails or notifications claiming your Amazon, Netflix, or even bank account has been compromised. Scammers will urge you to share your account details or install “security software” that gives them access to your sensitive information like personal identification information such as your social security number.
  • Watch out for emails or messages offering free gift cards online. People will impersonate companies and provide gift cards with links to redeem them. These links may ask you to share personal account information so they can use it to steal money from you. It’s best to mark these as spam and delete the messages.
  • The holidays are often a time for charitable giving but be sure to research the charity before donating to ensure they are legitimate. 40% of all charitable giving occurs during the holidays, so it’s essential to be vigilant about who you give your money to.

Current Covid-19 Scams
Scammers have also used the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the ongoing health crisis to take money from people. Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to these scams:

  • Beware of texts, calls, or emails from those who claim they are from the IRS, Social Security, or the government. These institutions will not text, call or email you about stimulus checks or financial assistance. Cornerstone will also never contact you and ask you to provide personal account information.
  • Watch out for people pretending to be contact tracers. They are looking for your personal information to access your accounts. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your financial information and will always provide callback details.

This year, there are reports from local authorities in Niagara County that people are going door-to-door asking for money and even accompanying victims to their financial institution to help withdraw the funds. Please encourage your family members to never open the door to people they do not know.

For more information, check out our Scams & ID Theft page on our website. There you will find tips to avoid different scams and how to protect yourself from identity theft. You can also reach out to our Fraud Department at 844.544.3265 if you believe you or a loved one has already fallen victim to a scam.

The safety and security of our members are of the utmost importance to us at Cornerstone. We hope you and your families have a safe and wonderful holiday season!