Seasonal Scams

Some scams you should watch out for this holiday season

Tis the season to get scammed. The holidays bring many things, including con artists looking to score off your mistakes. Here are some scams to be aware of so your holidays are full of cheer, not jeer.

Fake Order Confirmations

This scam involves an emailed, fake order confirmation. Your natural inclination will be to think “I didn’t order this,” and click the emailed link to modify or delete the order. That’s where the scammers get you. The link will take you to a page asking for all sorts of private info that scammers then use for identity theft and more. Never click a link in an email that seems suspicious to you. Instead, go to the alleged source of the email, log in and see if there is indeed an incorrect order in your name.

Fake Shipping Emails

Much like the fake order confirmation scam, this scam involves a bogus shipping email. The email looks very much like one from UPS or FedEx. Once you click the link to track the shipment, your computer gets hit with a virus that steals your personal info. Yikes. US News reports that if you are expecting a shipment, it’s always safest to track the shipment by visiting the shipper or retailer directly.

Mirror Sites

One particularly tough scam to identify is the “mirror site” scheme. This is when a thief creates a replica of a real site to fool you into sharing your info. Typically this scam begins with an emailed link. Once you click on that link, you’re taken to a cloned site asking for log-in info. If you fill out the form, the thieves have your data. They then use it to make unauthorized purchases. The best way to avoid this scam is to check the website’s URL. If you see a lock symbol or ‘https’ in the URL, that means the site is secure and you’re good to go.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea