Most Common Holiday Scams
December is the month that sees scams ramp up. There is a definite uptick in identity theft and other scams aimed at stealing your financial information. Other holiday scams aim to deprive you of your money in other ways. As you head out to the shops this season, it’s important to remember that there are criminals everywhere and only you can protect yourself. Here are the most common scams scene during the holiday season.
1. Fake Websites
Amazon was recently the latest in a string of victims of false websites. Someone set up a site that looked eerily similar to the shopping giant in an attempt to steal financial information of unsuspecting shoppers. If you are shopping online this season, make sure that you are using retailers that you know, and be sure to look for the “https” at the front of the URL for that site. If something seems off, it probably is.
2. Fake Deliveries
Many people mail packages and parcels during the holidays. If you are expecting a package, keep an eye on the tracking information. There are criminals who will leave a note on your door, asking that you call a number to schedule a time to pick up your package. When you call, you are placed on hold and your phone bill is charged enormous amounts of money. Don’t make any phone calls unless you are calling UPS, FedEx or another delivery service directly. Always verify the contact number on the slip with ones found online.
You’re shopping at the mall and ready to make your purchase. You reach for your wallet, only to find it missing. If this happens to you, you could very well have fallen victim to a pickpocket. Always keep your wallet tucked in your front pocket and if you carry a purse, make it a crossbody bag. Wear your purse under your coat instead of over it to make it even harder to steal.
4. Emergency Scams
You get a phone call in the middle of the night saying a family member has been injured or arrested. The person on the other end asks for money for one reason or another. Never fall for this scam. If your loved one is hurt or injured, hospital staff will not call you asking for money. If your loved one is arrested, you will hear from them or a verifiable bonds agent if they need money for their release.
Do not open any email from addresses or people you are not familiar with. Do not click on any links in emails that you open mistakenly. These could very well be malware designed to steal your personal information by implanting a virus into your computer, or by asking you to provide your information for one reason or another.
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