The holiday season is a time of giving, donating, and helping others. Unfortunately, for scammers, it also means more willing targets to steal information from. You can be prepared for these, and avoid them if you are attentive. Here are five common holiday scams to watch for.

 

 

Fake “Look-A-Like” Websites

  • Many companies ramp up marketing emails with the incoming black Friday, cyber Monday, and of course, Christmas deals on the way. Scammers will take advantage of this and send phishing emails with “look-a-like” websites to get your payment information. 

 

Grandparent Scams

  • Grandparents are the kings and queens of Christmas. They want to get every child, grandchild, niece and nephew exactly what they want. Elderly internet users are more likely to follow through with scammers posing as a family member in need, often times asking for gift cards.

 

Gift Card Giveaways

  • We all love free, and some companies are a little more likely to be generous around the holidays. BUT, you should never click any links from someone offering you ANYTHING for free. Keep this simple word of advice in mind: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

 

Fake Shipping Notifications

  • We will all be bombarded with shipping notifications this season. Many scammers use this as a front for phishing scams. Just remember that you will never have to provide personal information or payment to have your package delivered.

 

Fake Charities

  • The holiday season means “giving season” for families throughout America. Many charities see an uptick of gifts around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and scammers want in on the giving. Fake charities are often named very closely to well-known charities, hoping for unobservant eyes to make a “donation.” Charities can always be verified at Give.org.