The holiday season’s rush and excitement create just the right amount of confusion fraudsters need to have their way with innocent customers and retailers.
For shoppers and online users, scam ranges from staff like discounted deals, flashy gifts, phony emails, and so on. You must be cautious because fraud keeps changing by the day. Give a second thought (and a third if necessary) to offers that do not add up logically.
Just trust your gut! Who knows? You may escape being the victim for a new cybercrime experiment just because of being extra cautious.
But generally, here are some ways scammers will try to take advantage of you this festive season.
Porch Pirates and Phony Delivery Emails
Delivery fraud and package mugging can occur in many ways. Porch pirates actually steal packages left lying carelessly on your porch or at your door.
Look out for fake emails from data-stealing fraudsters pretending to be courier companies prompting you to give out personal info. Here’s what to do.
- Prevent package theft. Insure valuable items before shipping, track packages in shipment, direct packages to office addresses, insist on a signature upon delivery.
- Phony Emails. Watch out for fake delivery emails. Always confirm the status of your shipment before responding with your personal info.
Fake Holiday Jobs
Fraudsters know business owners need an extra hand to take care of the buzz of activities in the festive season.
Watch out for ads promising holiday job opportunities. Here’s how to stay safe.
- Learn the tricks. Fake job ads generally have the following characteristics: the company requests for payment before a hire, high pay for small pieces of work, hires without interviews, and so on.
- Start working ONLY after official hiring. An authentic organization won’t ask you to start working on anything before onboarding you. Ensure you sign a formal hiring letter that stipulates the job agreement, work description, terms & conditions, and salary.
Trending Toy Fraud
The festive season is a time when parents want to gift their sons and daughters. Scammers look for hot-trending toys they know parents will be desperately looking for and list them for sale in fake websites.
- Look out for extremely low prices. Think twice if the rates they offer are way low compared to the items’ actual prices.
- Validate the authenticity of a website. Go through reviews about the site, and try to learn what customers say it before you proceed to order. Avoid websites that no one is talking about.
Don’t let fraudsters ruin your happy holidays, watch out for anything unusual. Don’t be too quick to believe anything you hear.
Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners get a high risk business loan. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating… But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.