Watch Out for Fraudulent Activity learn more
- Personal Loans
- Personal Loans
- Commercial Loan Officers
- Online & Mobile Banking
- Additional Services
- Member Testimonials
- SBA PPP Loan
- Home & Auto
December 1, 2020
Three Ways to Avoid Common Holiday Scams
The holiday season is a time of cheer and generosity. It’s also a time for increased fraud and scams. This year, the percentage of consumers shopping online has increased significantly, with many more Americans choosing to stay home and make purchases online to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.1 With the winter holidays fast approaching and online shopping season in full swing, we want to remind you about staying vigilant to avoid fraud. Here are three ways to foil the fraudsters’ attempts to get at your money and personal information with holiday scams.
Be cautious when online shopping.
Though you may be tempted by emails advertising sales, be careful to only visit trusted websites. Don’t open attachments or click on links within emails you didn’t ask to receive. Did you receive an email from a brand you’ve never heard of advertising cut-rate prices on name brand merchandise? Chances are, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The FBI warns that scammers can use email marketing to steal your personal information, so be wary about what you click and where you choose to make purchases.2 When in doubt, you should visit the brand’s website directly through an internet search, rather than navigating from an email link.
Protect your personal information.
If someone is asking for your personal information, it’s a major red flag, whether the person claims to be from a government agency, retail store or charitable organization. Never give out personal information, such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers, over the phone or in an email. A tip from the FBI? Verify all requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website.2 Only use secure Wi-Fi networks when shopping online because using a public Wi-Fi network to conduct any purchase is risky.
Don’t let your heart run away with your head.
Phishers can make very convincing spam links to get your information by pretending to be charities, taking advantage of consumer goodwill during the holidays. Avoid clicking links in unsolicited emails, even if they tug at your heartstrings. Always search for the charity’s official website directly to make sure you’re on the real site, especially when donating money or conducting any other financial transaction. Learn more about phishing scams.
Stay informed about new scams.
As online scams are on the rise, you’ll want to stay updated about ways to protect yourself. In addition to the tips above, we recommend scamspotter.org and FBI Cybercrime as resources to learn more about avoiding these scams. Grow Financial and other legitimate affiliated companies will never ask you for your PIN, login password or Social Security number via email. If you see suspicious activity on your account or receive any suspicious phone calls, please let us know right away by calling 800.839.6328.
Do you believe you’ve been the victim of holiday scams or an online or internet-enabled crime? File a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) as soon as possible. Visit ic3.gov for more information, including tips and updates about current crime trends. You can also find support and further help at fraudsupport.org.
1Adobe Analytics Data reported by Digital Commerce 360. Published Nov. 11, 2020. Accessed Nov. 19, 2020.
2FBI Press Release: Beware of Holiday Scams. Released Nov. 27, 2019. Accessed Nov. 19, 2020.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal and home equity loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card and personal loan payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for mortgage and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733