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Beware of holiday fraudsters and scam artists

The holiday season is always full of hustle and bustle with shopping, holiday parties and travel. Many people are so focused on the holidays that they can let their guard down and be susceptible to fraud and scams. Just a taking a few precautions can help you avoid most scams and frauds.
What is the most prominent fraud activities during the holidays?
Email phishing is generally one of the most common. This particular fraud involves fraudsters sending an email that looks like a legitimate email asking for you to log in or click on a link for an unbelievable deal.  Their goal is to get your credit card information or they are hoping to infect your device with a virus.
Why are people more likely to fall for this during the holidays?
So many people order gifts online everyone grows accustom to receive emails about shipments or orders. When someone receives a message asking them to verify a shipment or a link to click for extra savings many are quick to respond or click.
What are the extra steps we should take when getting emails?
First, look at the email sender’s address and see if it matches the address structure for the company.  Secondly, make sure the content of the email is accurate for any recent interactions with the company and finally, don’t ever click on any links from an email especially if they are asking for verification of credit card information.
What are other scams to avoid during the holidays?
Another big scam is setting up fake online stores that resemble a respected merchant or offer a cheaper version of an item. Either you are buying fake merchandise that never arrives or they are looking to steal banking credentials as part of the scheme.  One of the big hooks is amazing deals on high priced merchandise.
How do we make sure that websites are legit when shopping online?
Research all the sites you are about to use if you haven’t used them before. Look for negative feedback on consumer alerts.  Just a basic Google search can sometimes uncover a wealth of information. You can always do a domain WHOIS lookup to see who the owner is and how long the website has been active.
The holidays can be a time for fake charities, how can this fraud be avoided?
Always checkout any new charity by researching them online.  Sites such as can provide background on a charity and other sites such as can provide lists of known fraudulent charities.  Above all, never donate online to a charity that you don’t know and especially if you are using a link from an email that was sent to your or from a social media post.
What is your recommendation for avoiding fraud of any kind?
You can trust but always verify, even from sources you know to be real.  For all your accounts, setup alerts for any activity on your accounts so you can detect fraud quickly.  And finally, remember if it is too good to be true, then it probably is a fraud.

Posted: 12/8/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Identity Theft, Money Matters, Security

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