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7 Holiday Scams To Avoid This Year

1,) Stolen Packages

With the increase in online orders during the holidays, “porch pirates” are waiting to steal your packages. 1.7 MILLION packages are stolen every day in the U.S. according to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Here are a few tips to avoid stolen packages:
  • Mark the “require signature for package delivery” option when ordering items especially if they’re expensive.
  • When ordering from Amazon, look at choosing the Amazon locker option. There’s no fee for this.
  • Notify your mail carrier if you’ll be out of town when a package is expected to arrive.
  • If you work at an office, consider having packages delivered to your workplace.

2.) Gift Card Scams

Scammers love gift cards because there are PLENTY of ways for them to steal funds. They use tactics like exposed PINs, fake activation stickers, and gift card exchange sites to steal gift card funds. For tips on how to avoid buying a fraudulent gift card, visit our Gift Card Scams blog post.

3.) Facebook Freebies

Have you ever opened your social media feed to find a post offering you a FREE iPhone for taking a simple survey? Many of these offers are paired with a holiday promotion or contest, and some of these promotions may even be shared by your friends and family members. Many times, these posts will lead you to a survey where you are asked to disclose personal information. IGNORE THESE.Offering your personal information could lead to robocalls, phishing emails, and stolen identity.

4. “Secret Sister” Gift Exchange

Buy ONE gift and RECEIVE 6-36 in exchange. The Better Business Bureau says this is a PYRAMID SCHEME. The BBB says you’ll receive little to no return on your investment. If you see one of these posts on your social media feed, click the three buttons in the upper righthand corner of the post and click “Find Support or Report Post”.

5. Travel Phishing Emails

f you’ve booked holiday travel be on the lookout for this one! Scammers are sending malicious emails stating your travel has been canceled due to the pandemic. The email asks you to fill out a form for your refund. This malicious email is meant to capture your personal information for scams. Another variation on this is ads for FREE airline tickets with a legitimate airline. You are led to believe you will receive these tickets once you share on your social media feed. THIS IS A SCAM and meant to capture your personal information. If the sender’s email address includes the below you should be suspicious:
  • Using http:// instead of https://
  • Email domain is Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo instead of the company’s domain (eg. aa.com, delta.com, etc.)

6.) Charity Scams

Scammers set up fake charity websites to steal your money. These pop up even more with the holidays in full swing. Check out our tips for avoiding charity scams HERE.
  • Only donate to the sites you’re familiar with.
  • If you receive an email from a charity, contact them directly to make sure they sent the email.
  • If you’re unsure about a charity’s legitimacy, look them up HERE.

7. Package Notification Scams

Receive a text message saying a package is waiting for you? This could be a scam. These texts ask you to click on a link to confirm a package delivery. Amazon and other retailers may allow text notifications of package delivery, but these should not require personal information from you. More information from the FTC here.

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