The most wonderful time of the year can quickly turn into the most stressful time if you experience fraud. With the holidays approaching, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from predators.
This December, the most consistent fraud concern reported by customers comes in the form of mail theft. We have received numerous reports of checks being stolen from mailboxes. Fraudsters target the holiday season as cash is commonly gifted between friends and family members, donations to nonprofit organizations are more common at year-end, and many municipalities collect tax bills during the latter part of the year. This increased activity creates opportunity for criminals.
Instead of mailing cash or checks, consider taking advantage of digital payment solutions offered through your financial institution. Here at F&M Bank, we offer various payment methods through our bill pay system within online and mobile banking. This tool gives our customers the option to set up payees (like a municipality, utility company, etc.) for one-time, or recurring payment. A similar option is available for our commercial clients as well.
You can pay a person too. Gift pay is the perfect option during the holiday season for gift checks or charitable contributions! Or, pay a friend or family member with our P2P cash transfer app. Simply type in the email address or phone number of the recipient and send up to $500.00 for a transaction, for free!
With more people staying indoors due to COVID, online shopping has become the convenient and safe way to buy groceries, household items, clothing, and everyday necessities. And while it’s nice having packages delivered in days or even hours, there are multiple ways a delivery might not make it into your hands.
Just this week, the Harrisonburg Police Department issued some great tips to help protect yourself and your packages, and we echo their advice. Most of the major delivery companies such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer consumers ways to track packages with email or text notifications, ensuring packages aren’t left or forgotten.
In addition, it is a good idea to create a space near your front door, behind planters or other items, so deliveries can be placed out of site from the street. Installing security cameras can both help prevent porch theft and provide important footage in case a porch pirate strikes.