Avoiding Holiday Scams

Avoiding Holiday Scams

Holiday
distractions provide the perfect opening for scammers. They target people
hoping the busy time of year will make scamming easier. And they’re right:
phishing attacks increase 50% from October to January according to F5 Labs’
2019 Phishing and Fraud Report.

Here’s how you
can remain alert this holiday season:

Fake charities

The holidays can
certainly inspire gifts of gratitude and giving but beware that you’re donating
to reliable organizations. You can check how much money charities allocate to
their mission on websites like CharityWatch and Charity Navigator. And be
cautious of crowd-funding sites – only donate to sites established by people
you know.

Holiday phishing scams

Be cautious when
clicking on links or opening attachments in emails. Scammers pretend to be
reputable businesses or retailers. Their emails can be very convincing but look
for typos or grammatical errors and be sure to check the sender’s address. And
always have current antivirus software on your device.

Fake ads

You’re searching
for the season’s must-have toy and see a coupon for a hefty discount. It seems too
good to be true! Well, it is. Scammers will serve up fake ads – like fake news
on social sites – enticing you with a coupon or discount and then direct you to
a third-party site that asks for credit card or other personal information.

Holiday job scams

Many businesses
hire temporary help during the holiday. This can be a great way to make extra
money for gifts or to begin your New Year’s savings resolutions. But not all
job offers are legit. Fake job postings can steal your personal information or
even your money. If a business requires money up-front with promises of a
future payback, it’s probably a scam. You can also verify the business through
LinkedIn, the Better Business Bureau or Google.

Fake order confirmation emails

Scammers will send fake emails impersonating well-known retailers in the hopes that you will click the link and compromise your personal data. Protect your data and don’t click on links or attachments unless you can 100% verify the sender. If you think your credit card or financial information has been compromised, it’s best to log in to your online account to check.

This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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