Holiday scams are the gifts that keep on taking during a season meant for giving.
While you’re busy putting the finishing touches to your holiday celebrations, scammers are looking out to obtain your information.
Be on the look-out for the 12 Scams of the Holiday Season!
- Social Media Scams: Scammers use social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to confuse consumers during the holidays. Be careful what you click on or ‘like’ – especially when you see online contests, fan page deals or apps to receive discounts.
- Fake Charities: This is one of the largest scams every holiday season. As we open our hearts and wallets, you may be giving to a fake charity altogether – do your research before you donate.
- Travel Scams: Before you book your flight or hotel, keep in mind that scammers are looking to hook you up with deals that may be fake. Scammers can use phony travel webpages that use beautiful pictures and low prices to lure you in.
- Skype Message Scare: Connecting with loved ones across the globe? Be alert: there is a Skype message scam that attempts to infect computers and take personal information. Never click any unfamiliar links that are sent to your chat box.
- Bogus Gift Cards: Be wary of buying gift cards from third party sources. We recommend avoiding these purchasing online, and only purchasing from credible in-store offerings. How embarrassing would it be to find out that the gift card you gave someone was fake?!
- Malicious Mobile Apps: As the popularity of apps has grown, so have the chances that you could download a malicious application designed to steal your information or even send out premium-rate text messages without your knowledge.
- Fake Brands: If you want to buy something fancy, go straight to the store. Cheap watches and pharmaceuticals may be advertised as the “perfect gift” for that special someone – and be 100 per cent fake. Be on the look-out while browsing online for pop up advertisements.
- Apple Scams: Sites will mention Apple product giveaways in phony contests and phishing emails as a way to grab computer users’ personal information. If you see an ad that says “free iPad,” it’s most likely fake.
- Holiday SMiShing: “SMiSishing” is phishing via text message. Just like with email phishing, the scammer tries to lure you in to reveal personal information.
- Phony E-Tailers: Phony e-commerce sites that appear real try to lure you into typing your credit card number and other personal details, often by promoting great deals.
- Dangerous E-cards: E-cards are a popular way to send a quick “thank you” or holiday greeting, but some are malicious and may contain spyware or viruses that download onto your computer.
- Phony Classifieds: Online classified sites may be a great place to look for holiday gifts and part-time jobs, but beware of phony offers that ask for too much personal information.
Protect yourself this holiday season!