Scams Increase as Holidays Draw Near
TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the holidays
approach, GTE Financial has some tips on avoiding banking fraud,
including identity theft, debit and credit card fraud, computer
intrusion and check fraud. These types of fraud, always a concern,
occur most frequently prior to and during the Thanksgiving and
“As we near the holidays, it becomes increasingly important to monitor
your finances and protect yourself from fraud,” says Mark Napolitano,
Fraud Protection and Investigations Manager at GTE Financial. “We’re
seeing attacks move online, so not only must you be careful about your
credit cards, checks and tangible belongings, but you should also be
conscious of attacks that take place through email, on mobile devices
and through your computer. And with holiday shopping starting earlier
every year, there’s an even larger window of opportunity for those
engaged in these types of fraud.”
Napolitano says that while Europe and Canada have adopted the EVM
(Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip technology, which is more secure
than our current magnetic strip technology, the United States has not
yet followed suit. He adds that criminals are now probably focusing
more on the U.S. and this may account for the increase in the number of
fraud and security cases being reported.
He suggests that consumers take the following precautionary measures
now to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
— Don’t give your personal information over the phone or internet unless
you initiated the conversation or contact.
— Keep passwords somewhere secure, and never write them down near your
— Never write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your debit card
or a piece of paper in your purse or wallet.
— Set antivirus programs to update automatically on all in-home computers.
— Check your bank accounts daily and credit card statements as frequently
as possible for any transactions that seem unfamiliar.
“There’s much less need to worry about fraud if you choose to be
proactive instead of reactive,” Napolitano says. “Online and mobile
banking, as well as in-person banking, can be very safe. As long as you
take the necessary precautions, you should not need to be concerned
about security issues.”
About GTE Financial:
GTE Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than
$1.6 billion in assets and 21 Community Financial Centers located
throughout West Central Florida. Chartered in 1935, GTE Financial is
locally owned and operated in the Tampa Bay area, serving more than
200,000 individuals and businesses. More information on GTE Financial
can be found at www.gtefinancial.org.