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Pearl Hawaii Credit Union
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Beware Of Holiday Scams

As the Christmas season approaches, common holiday scams include romance, charity, and sweepstake scams. Additionally, there is an increase in business imposters and government fraud. Overall, online shopping fraud is most common.


Do Online Research

Look up the website or company name with the words “reviews” or “complaints.” If the company has a less than desirable reputation, you will discover issues other consumers experienced concerning the quality of the merchandise, refunds, or shipping issues. Additionally, many of these reviews will mention that items were never received, they were unable to contact their customer service, or will directly state that they experienced fraud or that the company is a scam. Next, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if it has received any complaints.

Monitor Your Accounts

Use PHFCUOnline to keep an eye on your transactions, especially during the holidays. Notify Pearl Hawaii right away if there’s any fraudulent activity.

Beware Of Phishing Scams

During the holidays, criminals will create a fake email for a deal that’s too good to be true. If you click on any links within the email, you may be downloading malware onto your computer or you may be asked for payment information that could lead to fraud. Also, never pay for an item with a gift card or purchased credit card.

Limit Large Sums Of Cash

Even though financial crimes migrate from physical to cyber, customers should be careful not to carry around large sums of cash when shopping.

Secure Your Internet Connection

If shopping online, make sure you do so from a password-protected Wi-Fi network. Never access online banking from a public Wi-Fi network.

Shop Safely

Before making an online purchase, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with HTTPS.

Read The Site’s Privacy Policies

Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

Read All Of The Details

A note on shipping…. See what you can learn about where the company is located. Many common online shopping complaints involve super-slow shipping, and these are often from companies located outside of the United States.

Rule of thumb… If something doesn’t seem right, shop elsewhere.




Internet Crime Complaint Center

Federal Trade Commission

10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud

FTC: Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Scams Targeting Taxpayers

Tips for Safe Gift Card Use: Retail Gift Card Association

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

The Department of Justice

Identity Theft (FBI)

IRS Identity Theft-Related Guidance

Identity Theft Resource Center | 1-888-400-5530