It’s that time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner and the closer it gets, the busier we get. Whether you’ve got a big family or small, spending a little or a lot, no one is free from increasingly hectic schedules.
With so much to get done to prepare for the holidays, it’s easy to fall victim to holiday scams. These scams are in place to take your identity (also known as phishing) or to take your money through a counterfeit transaction. Here are some of the most common scams to avoid this holiday season.
Fake Retail Sites
This holiday scam is a dummy website that looks like a retail site you are familiar with. You enter your credit card information into the site to make a purchase, and suddenly a scammer has your money and your information, and you never actually made your holiday purchase. Make sure you’re on an official retailer’s site that you recognize, with https in the hyperlink (the “s” means it’s secure). Avoid any site with obscure web addresses or unfamiliar retailers.
Shipping Confirmation Ploy
Chances are you’ve made a few online purchases this season, and that’s what this holiday scam is banking on. The scammer sends dummy emails that look like they are from major shipping companies, such as FedEx or UPS. The email will claim they can’t deliver your package and will ask you for personal information to confirm shipping. Most major retailers offer tracking information on your package without asking for personal information.
People give more money to charity during the holidays. What you don’t want to do is give money to a holiday scam. Verify the legitimacy of any charity you want to donate to. You can either go to their website directly or by going to https://www.give.org/
Holiday Phishing Scams
These holiday scams can appear in many forms like ecards, letters from Santa, holiday screensavers, “free” gift cards, etc. They can appear as a pop-up ad or as an email in your inbox. The rule to remember is, if you don’t know who it’s from, don’t open it. Depending on the scam, they can steal your identity or even download a virus.
For more tips on how to be a smart consumer, check out our Resources page.
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