There are scammers out there, and they make sure to put in overtime during this time of year. We are all in danger of being tricked by scammers, but with a few tips and a little guidance, you can help to avoid these common holiday scams.
The Most Common Types of Holiday Scams
Scammers are getting more creative with their means of taking your hard-earned money. The most common types of scams that are circulating this season are all super creative, and anyone without prior knowledge could fall for them.
Social Media Advertisement Scams
Some companies pay good money to make sure that their advertising is seen on social platforms. When scammers see this, they believe that they can make you click on their ads in the same fashion. Make sure that the site you are visiting is safe and secure. A quick google search of the URL or company name may save you some change and keep you from falling into a trap.
Fake Text Message Scams
We all love to shop online during the holidays. Scammers catch on to this and will send random, fake texts that show you have a package that is being delayed and supply you with a tracking link. The easiest way to combat this type of scam is to only track your packages from the establishment that is shipping your package. If you are worried that the text is correct, still DO NOT click the link they provided. Use the correct website and use your tracking number to see where your package is.
Fraudulent Charities Scam
This is the season of giving. You may feel compelled to donate to a wonderful charity. Scammers know that people love to give during the holiday season and will go to extreme lengths to try and create a phony charity. They may even send an email with a link to a professional-looking website. Make sure to do some research into the charity that you are donating to. Donations are important to so many charities, but we want to make sure that money is going to someone who needs it, not into the pockets of a scammer!
Good Deal Scams
When you’re looking for that last-minute gift or spur-of-the-moment flight to surprise the family, it’s easy to see a crazy good deal and want to jump on it immediately. Scammers use that sense of urgency to lure you into giving them money and then never send your item or ticket. Look at the specifics and make sure that the website you are ordering from is legitimate. Most legitimate websites will list their credentials for selling things at the bottom of the page. If you are still unsure, a quick search may give you the answers you’re looking for and confirm or deny the legitimacy of your great deal.
Brand Impersonation Scams
Scammers are getting to the point that they are copying big brand websites and changing the URL by one or two letters, which is sometimes easy to miss. The website may even function as you are used to seeing on your favorite brand’s site. If something feels off, it probably is. Double-check before entering any of your information or clicking any link you are unsure of.
Scammers are not always just trying to make you give up your money or information. Sometimes, they are about gaining access to your device and installing malware or viruses that can ruin your electronics or even steal your information. Make sure every link you click is legitimate. Sometimes, for the extra security, it is worth copying that link and pasting it into a google search to see if anyone has listed the link as malicious.
Using these Holiday Scam Tips
During this holiday season, be on the lookout for these common scams. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to your information and finances. Keep an eye out for links that look out of place, texts that may be facetious, and websites that look malicious. Most of all, we wish you a safe and happy holiday to you and yours!