'Tis the season to be jolly - until you encounter the Scrooge who steals presents, sets up scam charities, or creates bogus shopping websites. It pays to learn what to look out for.
The Grinch isn't the only one out there trying to steal this holiday season.
Holiday hijinks can rob you of your fun and finances.
Learn about social media scams
Watch out for Porch Pirates
Read security tips
Some brazen criminals simply steal packages from the doorstep or porches of unsuspecting homes, apartments and businesses.
As you plan holiday festivities and put together holiday gift lists, it can be easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season and let your guard down. Here are some of the latest fraud and scams targeting consumers:
Scammers exploit weak links on an e-commerce platform. In many cases, a consumer can be re-directed to a malicious domain where the skimming code can capture the customer’s information from the checkout page. The skimming code then sends the information to a remote server where the data is collected by the criminals. Consumer credit card data can either be sold or used to make fraudulent purchases.
Social Media Scams
Online shopping scams often involve the use of social media platforms to set up fake, online stores. Fraudsters use social media to advertise the fake website. They then take the consumer's payment but never deliver the goods.
Especially near the holidays, criminals steal packages from the doorsteps or porches of unsuspecting homes, apartments, businesses, etc.
Buy Online/Curbside Pick-up
One of the newest avenues for "friendly-fraud" is where a scammer may state they didn’t receive an item ordered online and demand a refund. Curbside pick-up is also another option for fraudsters to intercept your purchase.
Shipment Update Scams
Fraudsters send a fake email notifying you of a delivery failure or they request updated shipping information. The email looks like it’s coming from the original sender, but it contains a link with malware.
Donation and Fake Charities
People love giving back this time of year and scammers know this. Donation scams often try to replicate a charity website convincing you to donate money – which goes right to the criminal.
Gift Card Scams
Purchase gift cards only from trusted sources.
Sign up for credit union transaction alerts to monitor for unauthorized credit card or debit card transactions.
Pay attention to emails, links, and websites. Think before you click!
- Don’t open attachments with special offers. It’s a classic scam. The offer should be in the email and you should be able to see it right away.
- Avoid entering card information on web forms (could be malware installed). Use your stored payment information when possible such as Amazon Pay or PayPal.
- Ensure home computers, laptops, and mobile devices are protected with antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
- Use well-known websites for online purchasing.
- Go directly to a specific website rather than clicking to it through social media website advertisements.
- Be on the lookout for skimming or shimming devices when using ATMs or gas pumps. For gas pumps, try to use the pump closest to the entrance door as they are less likely to be a target for skimmers.
- Review and monitor your accounts daily and report any discrepancies immediately.