Watch Out for Holiday Shopping Scams
Holiday shopping is upon us. Those looking for a little retail therapy, might also find themselves becoming victims of fraud. Here are the top holiday shopping scams you need to watch out for.
Avoid These Holiday Shopping Scams
Online Shopping Scams
Spoofing and automatic dialing technology makes it easy for stimulus scammers to imitate any organization, including government agencies. Most experts recommend consumers dodge picking up any calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
Found something cool on Instagram? Or a great deal in your inbox? Watch out for fictitious retail sites spoofing real sites or for completely fabricated retail brands. Double check the domain name and look out for spelling errors or non-.com or HTTPS URLs. Also, watch out for deals that are too good to be true. For example, if a luxury item is selling at an unreasonable low price, it might be a fraudulent retailer fishing for payment information.
Many stimulus scams involve emails, text messages, or social media posts asking individuals to click a link leading to a bogus application. This spoofed page allows fraudsters to steal personal information, such as Social Security numbers. It’s the season for giving – not giving away. Unfortunately, fraudsters use the holidays to play off of our giving, charitable spirit. Through email, text and phone calls, fraudsters will pressure victims into check, cash, or money order contributions. If you’re thinking about charitable giving this year, give to an organization you know and trust.
Holiday E-Card Scams
Getting ‘seasons greetings’ from someone you don’t know? Watch for phishing scams – an email-based fraud tactic that leverages malware or social engineering to get victims to pay. Don’t open emails if you don’t recognize the sender. Further, don’t click on any links if the email looks suspicious — this might inadvertently install malicious software on your computer, giving fraudsters access.
A good rule of thumb for staying safe online is to not overshare. That includes posting pictures that accidentally have your credit card or driver’s license in the background or giving an app or website an inordinate amount of personal information. Always bring a healthy amount of skepticism when transacting online.
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