Pamela Cotton, the vice president of member services at Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about keeping your account safe during the holidays.

During the holidays, everyone is using their credit card/debit card more often, especially online. What are some ways to avoid online shopping scams?

“While online shopping, research the retailer and look for consumer reviews. Only deal with reputable, secure sites. Don’t use links sent to emails from unknown senders, this could be a phishing scam. Look for their refund or return policy. If there isn’t one or it is not detailed, avoid them. Only use sites with a closed padlock symbol and HTTPS at the beginning of the URL. Avoid sites that don’t offer secure online payment options. Use sites that offer credit card payments or secured payment services like PayPal. Do not send money orders, pre-loaded money cards, wire transfers, or cash.”

What can you do during the holidays to keep your account safe?

“Looking over your monthly statements and checking your transaction online regularly to ensure there aren’t any fraudulent transactions. Austin Telco offers account alerts which are customized messages sent to update you when there is any activity on your account. You can choose the alerts you want to receive and stay connected. And if you do plan to travel during the holidays, Austin Telco helps protect members from fraud by providing the option to remove restrictions for online and out-of-state purchases yourself thru online banking or the mobile app.”

What should someone do if they come across fraud on their account?

“Notify your financial institution immediately and close the card in question. Austin Telco offers local member service, so when you have to call, you speak with a branch member service representative. And if you need a new card right away, we offer ‘instant issue’ for debit and credit cards so you can come into a branch and receive a new card at no charge.”

To learn more about Austin Telco Federal Credit Union and how to keep your money safe, follow them on social media or to go

This segment is paid for by Austin Telco Federal Credit Union and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.