Watch out for scammers this season!
Families, retailers, and consumers are not the only ones getting ready this holiday season. Scammers are also working to maximize their profits. Watch out for your money by avoiding these five seasonal scams that can wreck your life even beyond the holiday.
Have you been looking for travel deals? If so, do not click on any ads from companies you do not know. Rely on sites like Kayak, Google Flights, or Yapta to make your travel arrangements. Clicking on ads that sound too good to be true can cost you money later.
Online Shopping Scams
Bogus websites that claim to have this year’s “hot toy” in stock are often malicious links that install harmful software on your computer, identity theft attempts that record your usernames and passwords, and other scams.
Make sure any site where you shop contains an HTTPS security designation, and make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date before the big shopping day. Limit your shopping to known websites that have a trusted reputation for customer service.
Email scammers work by “spoofing” a major-name website like Amazon or PayPal. It’s a safe bet you have an account, so scammers send you an email stating that something is wrong with your account or your order.
Reacting to the panic of not having your gifts arrive in time, you click the link to resolve the issue, only to install malicious software on your computer in the process. Never click a link you weren’t expecting; instead, go directly to that company’s website yourself and log in to look for problems. Contact the customer service at the website the spoof is allegedly from and ask questions!
Everyone can use some extra cash at the end of the year. Many companies rely on seasonal workers to help fill in at the holidays, and there are plenty of scammers who try to steal your identifying information by offering you ridiculously easy jobs. Remember, you will never have to turn over your identifying information during the job hunt, so keep that data private until you’ve been hired.
The holidays are a time to think of others, and scammers are waiting with phony charity opportunities. Whether it’s collecting cash in person or social media posts that beg for support, remember to investigate a charity thoroughly before you give.
You can also save yourself the heartache—and the dip into your budget—if you donate throughout the year. Worthy organizations need your support all year long, so by giving at other times, you’ll know that you’ve done your part without being ripped off.
Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Even if it doesn’t sound too good to be true, scammers could still be behind it. The damage caused by scammers’ identity theft and financial theft lasts long after the holiday season ends.
Soar like an eagle over life’s storms. Have a wonderful holiday season void of scammers!
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If you enjoyed this post, remember that BJ writes children’s books. Her children’s eagle Near a River common core reading book is available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Buy BJ’s Near a River eaglereading book for a child you care about today!