The festive season is a busy time of year for scammers of all kinds as people plan to buy more products and services and the market for gifts reaches its peak.
Add in Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the Pre-Christmas sales and the Boxing Day sales and you have an explosion of buying that the scammers want a share of.
All the usual scams are still used, but these three are most common in the Festive season.
Scammers set up fake website shops offering whatever products are most popular. They usually copy the sales text and pictures from genuine websites to make their site look real, but if you buy then you’re unlikely to get anything and you will lose the money. Often they sell your credit card details to other scammers.
Always make sure you‘re on a genuine company website before buying anything.
There are any number of ways scammers will use to try to get your confidential information, including fake shops as above, fake text messages claiming to be from your bank, fake warnings where you have to click a link to login., but the link takes you to a specially prepared webpage that imitates your bank or whoever the scammers claim to be. The page is just to get your details.
The link may say it’s what you expect (e.g. Marks and Spencer/discounts) but it will be a fake page shop designed to get your confidential information.
Beware of these scams and don’t click a link unless you are sure it is safe.
Many people give more to charity at Christmas and the scammers go into overdrive with fake charity sites, fake charity emails and social media posts. They tug at your heartstrings in an attempt to get money.
They may claim celebrity endorsement or official recognition or anything to make themselves believable.
If you want to donate to charity then donate in person or go to the correct website directly – do not click on links in messages.
Scammers may pose as representatives of charitable organizations that are real (or merely sound real). At this time of year, their emotionally-charged appeals are more likely to strike “pay dirt” with normally savvy people. We recently reported a new email phishing scam that’s soliciting donations to help victims of the California wildfires. You can be sure that other scams will soon be asking for donations to this cause and many others. The scams may involve nationally recognized charities aiding well-known causes, or local groups handling problems closer to home.
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