Online shopping and charitable giving peaks during the holiday season, but so do scams. With scammers constantly looking for new and innovative ways to scam unsuspecting consumers, it’s important to stay cautious when dealing with suspicious transactions or people.
Be aware of these common scams during the holidays:
- Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.
- E-cards: Electronic cards can be great fun, but be careful. Look out for e-cards that don’t list the sender’s name or require you to share additional information to get the card.
- Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.
- Grandparents scam: Seniors should be cautious if they get a call from a grandchild claiming to be in an accident, arrested or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true.
- Phony charities: Everyone is in a generous mood at the holidays, so scammers take advantage of that with fake charity solicitations through email, social media and text. Check out charities at org before donating.
- Unusual forms of payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. Use a credit card on a secure website; look for “https” in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and the lock symbol.
To find out more about scams or to report one, go to BBB Scam Tracker.