There are lots of common scams that, although they exist year-round, become even more prevalent around the holiday season as scammers ramp up their efforts. Below are seven of the most common scams that you need to be aware of during the festive period so you can stay safe from scammers.
With people purchasing lots of presents online in the run-up to Christmas, scammers know that most people will be expecting deliveries of packages — and every year they look to exploit this with delivery scams such as the one below.
They’re most often sent via email (such as the example above) or text. They will say you have a pending delivery or you missed a delivery and you need to click a link/button in order to receive it. There is no package/delivery — the scammers only want you to click so they can try to trick you into sharing your personal and/or financial information.
Fake Charity Facebook Scams
Scammers have recently been posting to Facebook, claiming that they’re offering to help people less fortunate purchase Christmas presents.
If contacted, these scammers send a message containing a link to a scam site designed to steal people’s personal/financial information.
If you see a fake charity post on Facebook, report it immediately by clicking the three dots in the corner of the post then Find support or report post and following the on-screen instructions.
Fake Shopping Sites
It’s the busiest shopping season of the year, and scammers are looking to capitalize on it! There have been tons of Christmas-themed fake shopping sites (such as the one below) popping up lately.
When it comes to spotting fake shopping sites, keep an eye out for crazy discounts, a lack of contact/return policy information, and a suspicious URL (www.cheap-chr1stmasgifts[.]xyz, for example).
Sample URLs of fake Christmas shopping sites
It goes without saying, but don’t shop on sites such as these. Either you’ll never receive your items or what you do receive will be a cheap knockoff. There’s a close to 0% chance of ever receiving a refund, either.
These are also often sent out via email or text. The message will say you’ve won a prize or a certain amount of money and to claim it you’ve got to complete a survey or some other task, but inevitably you’ll be required to submit lots of personal information.
The scammers are hoping that would-be victims will be so excited at the prospect of receiving their prize that they will let their defenses down and share their information, which can be used to commit other crimes such as identity theft.
Bogus Security Alerts
These fake security notifications will once again most often arrive via email or text. They’ll commonly say there’s a serious issue with one of your online accounts (Amazon in the example below) and that you need to click a link to resolve it within 24 hours or your account will be terminated — a common scare tactic used by scammers.
If you receive a message that you believe may be a bogus security alert, don’t interact with it in any way. Instead, go to the official site itself and contact its support team if necessary.
Easy Money / Job Scams
Scammers know people will appreciate a job or side gig that can result in some easy cash — especially over the holiday season. There have recently been several sites advertising desirable, high-paying jobs that require no experience or sites claiming that you can make thousands of dollars just by getting people to click on links. With sites such as this, if they seem too good to be true, they almost certainly are, so exercise caution.
Here are two examples of such scams: easy money scam site/ fake job site
Gift Card Scams
We always see an increase in gift card scams around the holiday season as the scammers know most people could do with some extra cash.
If you receive a message saying you’ve won/could win a free gift card, it’s almost certainly a scam so don’t interact with it in any way because you could be tricked into inadvertently sharing your personal and/or financial information.
How to Avoid Scams This Holiday Season
Trend Micro Check — our 100% FREE browser extension and mobile app — can protect you from scams this holiday season and beyond! Dangerous websites, malicious emails, phishing links, and lots more are detected in real time, so if you come across something dangerous online, you’ll know to stay well clear!
So, what are you waiting for? Download Trend Micro Check for FREE today!
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