The holidays are a busy time of year and with everything you have going on, scammers know it’s easier to catch you off guard, so they take advantage of that. Tech journalist Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson warns of the most common ways you could get scammed around the holidays.
- Package delivery scam - You’ve probably done a lot of your holiday shopping online and are expecting packages from different delivery services like FedEx, UPS and USPS. Scammers know that and may send emails or texts mentioning a package delivery, and you may easily fall for it. The CyberGuy warns of a couple red flags to be on the lookout for if you get a questionable message.
- The link is close to, but the same as the legitimate website from the shipping company, like uspsts.top, not usps.com.
- The message has wording you wouldn’t see from the company, like “pls” instead of please. Also look for typos and poor grammar as tip-offs.
- If a message asks for more information or for you to pay a “shipping fee” you weren’t informed about when you placed the order, that’s another red flag. Always check the original confirmation you received about shipping and use that to look up the status of your order directly on the shipper’s website.
- Charity scams - These are also much more common during the holidays, as scammers hope you’re feeling generous. They may create fake names of organizations to get you to donate money, or post about fake charities on social media. So before you donate any money, double-check the group you’re giving to in order to verify it’s legitimate.
- Social media gift exchange scam - The Better Business Bureau warns that these social media-driven gift swaps are actually pyramid scams that will probably leave you disappointed if you participate. It might ask you to send a gift to a stranger, claiming you’ll get multiple gifts in return, but you’ll probably never get anything back at all.
- Gift card scams - If you’re buying gift cards in a store, make sure the package hasn’t been tampered with and that nothing on the package looks suspicious, as scammers will often steal the information off the card and make it look like the package is still sealed.
Source: Fox News