This year, National Bank & Trust wants you to enjoy a scam-free holiday and remain watchful against the following schemes. 

Gift Card Scams – If someone is asking you to pay for something with a gift card, even if they provide lots of excuses to make it sound legitimate, you’re most likely getting scammed. No reputable business will require payment via gift card, they will accept all forms of payment. Gift cards are also popular among scammers because they are easy to cash in or sell them online and are virtually untraceable.

Insurance/Warranty Scams – Insurance and warranty scams have been around for years and usually happen via a phone call with some sort of pitch for you to renew your warranty or policy – even if you don’t currently have warranty coverage. Fraudsters are hoping to get your personal information, which can be used to defraud you.

Online Shopping Scams – If the offer is too-good-to-be-true, then it probably is! You should steer clear of ads offering items at unrealistic discounts or on untrustworthy sites. Victims pay for items, give away personal information and credit card details, then receive nothing in return except a stolen identity. Buy from a known source or someone you can meet in person. No sale is worth compromising your personal safety – be sure to do your research, meet in a public place and trust your gut.

Charity Scams – There is something about the holiday season that puts people in a charitable mood. 2020 has been extra difficult for many people, and with that, comes scammers who pose as charities or misuse a charity’s name to appeal for donations. Make sure to do your research and check with Charity Navigator, the largest and most-utilized charity evaluator in America, before you give online or over the phone.

The FBI has shared the following steps to help you avoid holiday fraud schemes:

  • Before shopping online, secure all financial accounts with strong passwords or passphrases. Additionally, the FBI recommends using different passwords for each financial account.
  • Check bank and credit card statements routinely, including after making online purchases and in the weeks following the holiday season. Credit cards provide several layers of security against fraud and are typically the safest way to conduct online shopping.
  • Never give personal information — such as your date of birth, Social Security number, or billing addresses — to anyone you do not know.
  • Be wary of promotions and giveaways that request your personal information.
  • Prior to donating to any charity, verify that they have a valid Taxpayer Identification number by visiting their website or calling the charity directly.

If you do become the victim of a holiday scam, contact your bank immediately. You should also inform your local law enforcement agency and file a complaint with the IC3 at