Black Friday used to launch the traditional holiday shopping season, but more and more businesses – and bad guys – are getting a jump on things. That means you need to be on guard earlier for the annual scam season. You’ve probably heard of the most common scams: gift card scams, discount scams, charity scams. But these “deals and steals” could really be someone trying to steal your money or information.
And the increase in online shopping and delivery options means more opportunities for bad guys.
HOW IT WORKS
Bad guys will prey on your desire to get a great deal. They will tie into your increased purchasing activity and take advantage of your seasonal generosity to get ahold of your money or personal information. This means a lot of fakes:
- Fake apps for all those new devices
- Fake Wi-Fi networks
- Fake coupons and discounts
- Fake charities and donations
- Fake delivery notifications
- Bad guys will even take advantage of consumers looking to earn extra cash by creating fake seasonal employment opportunities. All this to get your money, your information – or both.
What To Do
Be alert. Be vigilant. It’s great advice any time of year, but when your focus is family and you’re filled with holiday spirit, you may be more vulnerable.
If an organization is asking you to provide personal information for any reason – by phone, text or email – ask yourself, “Why do they want this information? Do they really need it, and is this the best way to give it to them?” Most organizations won’t ask you to provide sensitive information through these methods.