Beware of Holiday Scams – As you shop online, buy gifts, donate to charities and book upcoming holiday travel, be sure you’re doing so with security top of mind.
While most people are rejoicing at the opportunity to spend the holiday season with fewer restrictions than in 2021, experts warn that this season is also the time to be extra vigilant about protecting your security. With everyone’s guard down and people in the ‘giving spirit’ it can be easy to fall victim to scams.
While hackers and criminals are doing everything possible all year long to steal personal and private information for their hacking and fraud attempts, they’re working extra hard during the holiday season on this.
As you shop online, buy gifts, donate to charities and book upcoming holiday travel, be sure you’re doing so with security top of mind and beware of holidays scams.
Here are 5 holiday scams to look out for:
It’s far too easy to be fooled by a spoofed website when the branding and creatives look identical to an actual company’s legit site. It’s so important to not only pause before you click an ad or an email link to know if the source is legit, but you must always double check the URL. This is the only way to know for sure if you’re on a secure and legit site. Look for things like https and a lock symbol. You should only visit secure sites. You should also check that the company name is spelled correctly. Criminals will switch out a letter to misspell a name and on quick glance you may think you are using a legit site.
This is the season for giving. With so many people in need and causes looking for some assistance during this time, it can be difficult to know where to donate. Before you do – make sure the charity is a legit one. Scammers will go as far as setting up Go Fund Me and donation pages for a charity and even setting up a whole background story and purpose for a cause that doesn’t actually exist. If you’re unsure, you should call the charity directly and confirm before donating.
Gift Card Scams
One of the leading ways scammers are paying for things are with gift cards. They’re harder to trace, and easier to get people to give up. If someone is demanding payment with a gift card be cautious – it’s likely a scam. The other way gift cards are used for scams during the holidays is by offering bogus prize winnings where the victim enters their information to claim their gift card and the data is then used for a breach instead.
Fake Social Media Ads
Many brands use social media advertising to remind us about products we were browsing on their website, or a sale they’ve launched. These work very well for businesses and consumers when it comes to shopping, but they’ve also become a playground for fraudsters. Just as with the spoofed websites – you should take precautions before clicking or believing an advertisement on your social media feed is legit.
Holiday Temp Jobs
Another way these criminals play off of innocent victims is their desire to make some more extra cash for the holidays. In the stresses to get more done over these months, many will opt for quick, easy cash and fraudsters know if they post a job that looks easy and pays well, people will sign up. If the job looks too good to be true, or there is a fee to get started – you should definitely double check that it’s not a scam.
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