Wishing You a Happy and Scam Free Holiday Season! I recently received an email from my credit card company offering to increase my line of credit. All I had to do was click the link in the letter and log into my account to request the increase. Everything about the email looked legitimate; it had the right logo, my full name, and the last four digits of my credit card number.

 

However, I did not remember ever getting an offer from them before, so just to be sure, I called my credit card company and discovered they had not, in fact, sent me an offer. It was an incredibly realistic -looking scam.

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, these types of email scams, involving retailers you know or banks and credit card companies you do business with, are on the rise this holiday season. To make sure you do not become a victim, never click a link on an offer you receive by email. Type in the website yourself and look for a lock symbol and “https” in the URL line.

 

Another common scam this year are phones calls from people pretending to be employees of Apple or Microsoft calling to let you know your computer has been infected with a virus. Instead of installing a fix for the virus, they actually install malware to steal passwords and other personal financial information. Always call the company yourself to be sure you are talking to an actual employee.

 

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in the

methods they use and it is so easy to click a link thinking you are getting a special offer from a company you know and trust. Taking a moment to type in a website name or double-checking that an offer is truly legitimate can save you thousands of dollars and hours of time spent

recovering your stolen identity.

 

Susan Kelley-Outten,

Personal Financial Counselor

802-318-2507 or email her at susan.kelley-outten.ctr@mail.mil

This is a free and confidential service for service members and veterans.

 

 

Vermont Veterans Outreach Personal Financial Counselor provides financial services to Vermont’s Veterans, Service Members and their families. These services include budgeting, debt reduction, retirement planning, and much more. Our Family Program Personal Financial Counselor can assist you in your efforts to become financially stable and independent. The Personal Financial Services integrates within the military life-cycle; from pre-deployment financial preparation activities through transitioning from the military to civilian life. These services are free, confidential and available to Veterans and families residing in Vermont.

Financial Services Feature Story