The holiday season is full of fun and joy, at least until you become a victim of a scam. The festive days are supposed to be the season of giving. It is the time when people spend more and share their blessings with other people. It is also when businesses offer different promotions and sales to entice more customers to shop. Unfortunately, it is also a time when scammers have plenty of potential victims to take advantage of.
If you want to keep yourself safe from scammers during this holiday season, you first need to familiarise yourself with the common scams to watch out for.
#1: Email phishing scams
Phishing is not a holiday-exclusive scam. It is actually one of the most common scams one can encounter, yet many still fall victim to it. However, online scammers kick their shady practices into overdrive during the holidays, as most people have more money to spend. Instead of their regular emails, they often disguise their scams in line with the season, pretending to be Santa to give you gifts, freebies, or rewards in exchange for your personal information.
#2: Stolen packages
The holiday season is also the busiest time for the couriers and shipping companies, especially now that the pandemic forces people to do their shopping online. This has made it easy for thieves to take packages that aren’t theirs. Once the UPS or FedEx trucks drop off your parcels on your doorstep, they can swoop in and snatch them all.
Do not let your guard down this season. If you know that you have a package on the way, make sure to track it and grab it as quickly as you can. If possible, opt for delivery services that will require your signature.
#3: Phoney charities
Scammers will do everything they can just to get what they want, that some of them will even prey on your desire to help others out. Some scammers create fake charities and seek donations and support from people. Unfortunately, many still fall victim and send financial assistance to these non-existent charities.
There is nothing wrong with lending a helping hand, but you have to remember to verify the authenticity of the organisations you help out. Do not settle with just checking their website. Try to contact the numbers they provide or verify their organisation on charitynavigator.com.
#4: Fake websites
Another popular scam that is prevalent every holiday season is the rise of bogus e-commerce sites. These websites are effective in driving traffic and tempting people to buy because of their extremely affordable prices. Here is how they usually operate: They will get your information by encouraging you to create an account. You will then add items to your cart and make your payment, only to end up getting nothing. What is worse is that you will have given them your personal information, including your credit card details.
When doing your online shopping, make sure you only do so on reputable websites. Scammers are experts in making fake sites look legitimate, so be critical of each website you visit. Websites with “HTTPS” in their URL address is one sign it is secure.
The holiday season is the season of giving, but it also becomes the perfect time for scammers to find victims. Always keep your guard up, especially during these busy days. Remember to double-check who you are talking to, and make sure that you do not share your valuable information with unverified contacts. Despite the presence of all these scams, try to enjoy the holiday season while keeping yourself protected.
If you need phishing attack prevention and protection from other similar attacks, we can help. FraudWatch International is a reliable and globally-trusted brand protection company. We can help protect your brand and organisation from all types of online threats. Contact us today to learn more.