During the holiday season, scammers prey on online shoppers, urgent delivery deadlines, and our generosity. The most prevalent scams are non-delivery and non-payment scams, where buyers pay for items or services online, but never receive them, or the seller is never paid for their goods or services.

You should also beware of these common scams:

Deceptive “Missed Delivery” Notes:

Cybercriminals prey on the frustration of missing package deliveries. They leave fake delivery slips on doors, urging you to call a number for rescheduling. Be cautious! These calls might be riddled with intrusive questions aimed at stealing your identity. If you spot such notes, scrutinize them for discrepancies. Avoid calling any number provided, and instead, contact the delivery company directly through their official website.

Package Delivery Scam Alerts:

Watch out for unexpected texts or emails pressing you to click a link with various reasons like delivery updates, payment details, or fabricated shipping fees. These scams prey on urgency, hurrying you into actions. If you receive such messages, always go to the official courier website and use a genuine tracking number to check your package’s status.

Gift Card Scams:

A frequent scam involves deceptive emails or texts, seemingly from someone familiar, urging you to buy gift cards. If you get an unexpected gift card request, especially during the holidays, always verify the request directly through a phone call.

Dubious Charity Requests:

During the holidays, crises or natural disasters, fake charity scams spike. Scammers take advantage of people’s generosity, luring them into giving money and personal details that might be used for identity theft. To safeguard yourself:

  • Verify the Charity: Always ask for complete details, including the charity’s name, website, and address.
  • Opt for Secure Payment: Refrain from using gift cards or wire transfers. Stick to credit cards or checks after confirming the charity’s credibility.
  • Don’t Give in to Pressure: Genuine charities don’t push for immediate donations. Always do your due diligence.
  • Limit Information Sharing: Only give out sensitive information after you’re sure of the charity’s legitimacy.

To safeguard yourself from scams this holiday season, do your research, use secure payment methods, be wary of unsolicited requests for payment, and stay in the know about new scamming techniques.