Seasonal Security: Avoiding Holiday Scams

Published On: October 13th, 2022Categories: Business Technology, Cyber Security, Tech Tips

Scammers love celebrating busy holidays by defrauding people of money or personal information. Regardless of the reason for the season, avoid getting scammed by staying alert for these common threats:

Holiday scam prevention.

Phishing Attacks

Holiday seasons are one of the busiest times for shipping services like FedEx and DHL. Cybercriminals take advantage of this situation by impersonating those services and delivering phishing attacks with malicious tracking links. Always hover over links to reveal their true URL. If you’re unsure, visit the shipper’s website and manually enter the tracking number.

Fraudulent Websites

Ideally, it’s best to only buy products from reputable websites that you know and trust. If you end up venturing out to find a good deal, be sure to research the seller and read as many reviews as you can. Scammers can set up fake websites that sell imposter products, or steal information and money.

Holiday scam prevention.
Holiday scam prevention.

Fake Offers

If something sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a scam. Take extreme caution when handling any offers that land in your inbox. Avoid clicking on pop-up advertisements, especially when they list a product or service for a price that’s unreasonably lower than normal.

Package Theft

Thieves in the real world have been known to follow delivery trucks and wait for the right time to steal packages. You can avoid this concern by arranging to have packages delivered when you’re home or having them sent to storage lockers that some delivery services offer. For expensive items, ask the sender to require a signature upon delivery.

Holiday scam prevention.
Holiday scam prevention.

Card Skimmers

Card skimmers can steal banking information by compromising cash dispensing machines and point-of-sale terminals. If you need cash, use a machine that’s located inside a reputable bank or business. Inspect it for any signs of physical tampering. When paying for items, consider using wireless payment options such as your phone or a chip card, rather than swiping a card.

While there is so much good during the holiday season, just remember to stay vigilant to keep your information safe.

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About the Author: Eric Vicencio

Eric began his career in healthcare, and he has been working in the IT field since 2006 when he graduated from Northern Illinois University. Eric specializes in Infrastructure, SQL and compliance: Licensing, HIPAA, GLBA and PCI.