Website with secure payment on laptop screen

Safeguard Your Finances During the Shopping Season

As fall approaches, so does the shopping season, with back-to-school needs and holiday preparation on the horizon. However, it’s important to remain vigilant, especially when it comes to safeguarding your hard-earned money from cyber scams and online fraud. With the advancement of technology comes the sophistication of the tactics used by cybercriminals to target unsuspecting individuals during busy shopping seasons.

At Central Willamette Credit Union, your financial security is our priority. We are dedicated to helping you stay safe in the digital world. Check out these valuable tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from cyber scams.

Stay Informed and Educated

Regularly educate yourself about the latest cyber threats and scams. Additionally, be cautious of emails, messages, or calls from unknown sources, especially those urging you to take immediate action or share sensitive information.

Central Willamette will never contact you via text message to ask for sensitive or financial information.

Don't reply to a text or email that does any of these things:

  • Threatens to close your account if you don't take immediate action.
  • Tells you your account has been compromised, then asks you to give or confirm your personal or account information.
  • Asks you to confirm, verify or update your account, credit card or billing information.

Shop Securely

With back-to-school shopping and holiday prep in full swing, online shopping may seem like the more convenient option. Follow these tips to ensure your finances stay safe!

  • Only make online purchases from reputable and trusted websites. If an online deal seems too good to be true, it might be a scam. Be wary of websites offering massive discounts or prices significantly lower than competitors.
  • Before entering any payment information, verify that the website is secure. Look for the padlock icon and "https://" in the URL, indicating a secure connection.
  • Always log out of your shopping accounts after completing a transaction, especially if you're using a shared device.
  • Frequently review your shopping accounts to check for any unauthorized purchases or changes to your profile.

Be Wary of Phishing Attempts

Phishing is a cyber-attack where criminals impersonate legitimate individuals or organizations to deceive people into revealing sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. To protect yourself, it’s important to remain cautious and follow these best practices amidst shopping season:

  • Be cautious of clicking on links in promotional emails, especially if they claim to lead to exclusive offers or discounts. Instead, manually enter the website URL into your browser.
  • Double-check the sender's email address or phone number to ensure it's a legitimate business before responding to any requests.
  • If you receive a suspected phishing attempt, report it to your email provider or the appropriate authorities.

Central Willamette is Dedicated to Keeping Your Finances Safe

If you supplied sensitive banking information via phone, email, social media, or text to someone you suspect was scamming you, immediately contact us at 541-928-4536. We are here to help.

If you come across a scam or fraud that is concerning you, contact us

Lastly, if you have any doubts if an email, phone call, or text message is actually from Central Willamette, call us. We'll help figure out if you're dealing with a scam, and advise you on what to do next. Call us at 541-928-4536.

By following these tips and staying informed, you can enjoy a secure and worry-free shopping experience. If you ever encounter suspicious activity or have security concerns, don't hesitate to contact CWCU for assistance. Happy and safe shopping!