Avoid Halloween Scams & Identity Thieves and Enjoy the Season Safely

With Halloween just around the corner, everyone’s thinking about costumes and candy (and the identity thieves hope you won’t notice them).

Halloween is a prime season for the identity thief. While you won’t recognize one in any particular costume, they’re usually hiding in plain sight. Identity thieves and scammers use these busy seasons to strike when everyone’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

Halloween-related identity theft scares are real, and are a danger to you and your loved ones. Don’t fall for these common scams this Halloween season.

The E-Commerce Scam

If you receive a suspicious email, phone call, or text message regarding a costume that you never ordered or a Halloween event you didn’t buy a ticket for, don’t click on any links or share any information. This could be bait for you to share your personal data, like your credit card, phone number or home address. This can open you up for identity theft.

Terror on the Telephone

Telephone scams are a dime a dozen, most of which target the senior community. There are the virtual kidnappers who demand ransom to release a supposed captive (and tortured) loved one. There are the IRS impostors that threaten you’ll be arrested or deported if you don’t pay an alleged tax debt. There is the self-described police claim that you will face a penalty for supposedly missing jury duty. Swindlers pose as utility company reps who say your service will be terminated because of unpaid bills. Know that these calls are scams, and if you’re unsure, call the source directly.

Scareware Is Exactly What Its Name Suggests

Scareware got its moniker for its pop-up warnings of nonexistent computer infections, aiming to scare you into buying useless or potentially dangerous “protection” software. Tech support scammers call and claim that your computer is infected with a dangerous virus. You can be sure they will call you again warning of more viruses, trying to sell you software you don’t need, and even worse, they may try to harvest information from your computer.

With Halloween in full swing, it’s a reminder to take extra precaution to protect your identity and avoid these scary scams. Remember, keep a watchful eye on your accounts, shop with trusted retailers, and at the end of the season, be sure to shred any and all sensitive information to keep your identity where it belongs – with you!

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