The Duneland Chamber of Commerce held their Sunrise Seminar on Thursday morning at the Riley's Railhouse Bed & Breakfast in Chesterton. As the attendees enjoyed a continental breakfast and conversation, Maura Durham, President of the Duneland Chamber, welcomed the guests and announced upcoming events.
Following the introduction of attendees, guest speaker, Clint Turpen, Marketing Specialist and Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist at Regional Federal Credit Union spoke to the 30+ members in attendance about how to avoid scams and personal identity theft especially during the holidays.
"The more people know about it, the less likely they are to become victims," he said and also shared that the incidents happening regionally are on the rise and advised the following:
- Be wary of Facebook pages, unsolicited phone calls, and emails.
- Use BBB.org or CharityNavigator.org to check the reputation of solicitor.
- Choose your favorite charity in advance, and contact them directly.
- Be suspicious of emails that use the words, "activate" or "verify", that use poor spelling and grammar, and never click on links or open attachments in an unsolicited email.
- Be very cautious when wiring money.
- Think before you act.
- Remember that once you wire money, it is gone.
- Use debit cards as "credit" to avoid using your personal identification number
- Use online or mobile banking and check your accounts regularly
Recognizing the Patterns:
- Scammers will usually initiate the transaction. They often use fear or greed, then ask for money or personal information.
- Beware of any transaction that involves your wiring money or loading MoneyPak cards.
Turpen also hosts a a website with articles on fraud prevention. It can be accessed at www.fraudpreventionunit.org.
"Especially during the holiday season, it's important for our businesses to be very cognizant of the scams and phishing that's happening.", Durham said.