Don’t be Caught Off-Guard this Holiday Season

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The holidays are a time of family togetherness and celebration and we want you to have the best holiday season ever. Scammers know you’re distracted, busy, and emotional so it’s the perfect time to strike. Knowledge is your best defense so let’s look at 5 common scams so you don’t get taken in by these or similar schemes.

1. Fake packages

Scammers know that many of us shop on-line and receive delivery notifications for our packages. They will send realistic-looking delivery failure notifications to cause you to follow up with them and reveal personal identification information. Check with your delivery service before you hand over information on the internet.

2. Hotel Wi-Fi

Scammers can hack into a hotel’s Wi-Fi network and issue a pop-up that requests unsuspecting guests to install a foreign program before connecting. This foreign program turns out to be data-stealing malware. You should never need to install anything to connect to a hotel Wi-Fi network.

3. Bogus gift cards and hard to find items

There’s a bonanza of savings to be had buying gift cards or hard to find items through second-hand retailers. Be careful, because many of these retailers might be a front for scammers and simply be collecting your money for useless cards or products that they don’t have.

4. Fake charities

These crop up every time there’s a major disaster, but they also show up at the holidays. Leaflets and phone calls from organizations with familiar-sounding names will soon appear. Do your research and give to charities whose values align with your own.

5. Devious games

If you’re facing a long wait, a mobile game is a great way to pass the time. Always do a quick search to check the validity of the app you’re downloading and read the permissions carefully. A fun game should never ask for permission to send texts or send information to third parties.

 

SOURCES:
http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/12-scams-of-christmas-2012
http://www.theindychannel.com/financial-fitness/the-12-scams-of-christmas
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

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