Avoid Online Holiday Scams

Mobile devices make it easier than ever to shop for gifts, send season’s greetings, and plan holiday travel, but these devices also open the door for online scams that can turn holiday joy into holiday pain.  Keep yourself safe and aware when you browse, click, and buy online, so that you can stay clear of these 12 holiday scams:

  1.  Not-so Merry Mobile Apps:  avoid malicious apps that could steal your information.  Stick to the official app stores for downloads and purchases.
  2. Holiday Mobile SMS Scams:  Stay away from links in text messages that offer to update or install an app for you. 
  3. Seasonal Travel Scams:  Websites offering great airfare or hotel deals could be luring you into a trap.  If the deal sounds too good to be true – it is!  Look into the offer before you click!
  4. Shipping notifications Shams:  Think twice before clicking links in shipping notification emails and always verify the company is legitimate before giving out your information.
  5. Bogus Gift Cards:  Only buy gift cards from official retailers.  Stay away from third-party websites.
  6. Phony E-Tailers: Check web addresses for subtle clues that you are on a fake website.  Stick to knowns and trusted e-tailers.
  7. Holiday SMiShing:  Be wary of text messages asking for account verifications.  Never provide passwords in text messages.
  8. Romance Scams:  Only join dating sites with strong reputations or referrals.  Never click links from anyone you do not already know.
  9. Deceptive Online Games:  Avoid unknown websites serving up popular online games.  Check reviews and stick to known sites.
  10. Hot Holiday Gift Scams:   Be wary of deals on popular gadgets that are too good to be true.  Always double-check prices directly with the retailer.
  11. Dangerous E-Seasons Greetings:  Before you open an e-card, verify that it is from someone you know, and insure that it is from a trustworthy site.
  12. Fake Charities:  Before donating, check the web address carefully and look for fake logos or text with altered charity names.

If you have questions about Fraud or safeguarding your identity, or if  would like a Crime Prevention Specialist to speak to your community, group or organization about frauds, scams and identity theft or any of the other topics that we offer, call the Community Response Unit at 239-477-1470.