During the holidays, scammers often take advantage of the festive season to exploit individuals through various scams. MMCCU members are encouraged to check out the Security & ID Theft page for more insight and tips on how to stay safe.
Here are some common holiday scams to be aware of and watch out for:
- Online Shopping Scams:
- Fake websites: Scammers create fake online stores that mimic legitimate retailers. Always ensure you’re shopping from reputable websites, especially when making online purchases.
- Too-good-to-be-true deals: Be cautious of heavily discounted items, especially from unfamiliar websites or sellers. These could be attempts to steal your money or personal information.
- Phishing Emails and Messages:
- Holiday e-cards: Scammers may send phishing emails disguised as festive e-cards, containing malicious links or attachments. Be cautious and only open emails from known senders.
- Fake shipping notifications: Cybercriminals may send fake shipping confirmation emails with malicious links or attachments. Verify the legitimacy of the email before clicking on anything.
- Gift Card Scams:
- Request for gift cards: Be skeptical of any unsolicited requests for payment using gift cards, especially from unknown or unexpected sources. Scammers often pose as friends, family, or even government officials seeking urgent assistance.
- Charity Scams:
- Fake charities: Scammers take advantage of people’s generosity by creating fake charities during the holiday season. Verify the legitimacy of any charity before making a donation.
- Travel Scams:
- Fake travel deals: Scammers may offer attractive holiday travel deals that turn out to be nonexistent. Always book through reputable travel agencies or websites.
- Package Theft (Porch Pirates):
- Thieves may target delivered packages left on doorsteps during the holiday season. Consider using package tracking, requiring signatures for deliveries, or having packages delivered to secure locations.
- Social Media Scams:
- Fake giveaways: Scammers may create fake social media accounts posing as reputable companies or influencers, offering giveaways or contests to collect personal information.
- Impersonation Scams:
- Impersonation of family or friends: Scammers may pose as family members or friends in distress, requesting urgent financial assistance. Verify the identity of the person before sending any money.
- Fake Holiday Jobs:
- Job scams: Be cautious of job opportunities that require upfront payment or personal information. Scammers may pose as employers offering seasonal work to steal money or identity information.
Always stay vigilant, double-check the legitimacy of offers or requests, and use secure and reputable channels for transactions. If something seems too good to be true or raises suspicions, take the time to investigate before proceeding. Check out more tips HERE. Learn more about monitoring your credit score here.