Online Scams to Watch Out For During the Holidays
Are you getting into the holiday spirit yet? Unfortunately, ‘tis the season for scammers to go after your dollars or personal information. While you’re enjoying your festivities this year, be sure to keep a watchful eye out for these common types of online holiday scams!
Phishing emails are a common scam throughout the year, not just during the holidays. A phishing scam is when a cybercriminal attempts to get you to provide personal information, typically through a convincing email or a text that looks like it came from a trusted source. A common phishing scam during the holidays is a fake package delivery notification — where a scammer will impersonate a shipping company such as FedEx or UPS. These notifications often will try to get you to click a link and enter personal data or payment information. To avoid scams like these, make sure you always verify the sender of any message that asks you to input your personal data or click on any links!
According to Network for Good, a fundraising software company, over one-third of charitable giving is done during the month of December. Unfortunately, scammers often try to take advantage of holiday generosity by asking you to donate to a non-existent charity )or by impersonating a real one). You can help make sure your dollars go towards a legitimate cause by verifying the authenticity of any charity before you donate. A helpful resource to do so is CharityNavigator.org, or you could contact the charity directly.
During your holiday shopping, a helpful phrase to keep in mind is “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Scammers will often advertise products with massive discounts to tempt shoppers into going through with a purchase. Unfortunately, these scammers usually don’t even have a product to sell. Rather, they take your payment and run! A good way to help avoid these types of scams by only shopping with reputable online retailers and by staying away from suspicious sites that you’ve never heard of. Also, it can be helpful to pay with a credit card or payment service such as PayPal when shopping online, as these payment methods usually offer some form of fraud protection.
We want you to have a holly, jolly holiday season, and watching out for these types of scams can help make sure you have a safe one, too! To read more helpful tips about how you can stay safe while shopping online, click here. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Cumberland Connect!