Don’t let scams spoil your holiday cheer! Here are five holiday scams to watch out for and ways to protect yourself.
1. Phishing emails
Phishing scams get even more prevalent before the holidays. They can take the form of bogus delivery confirmation requests seeking your information or even a personalized letter to your child from “Santa.” Be extra careful this holiday season when it comes to sharing personal information online or with an unverified requester.
2. Fake charities
Sadly, many scammers will capitalize on the goodwill that flourishes this time of year by asking you to make a donation to a charity that does not actually exist. Verify the authenticity of any charity by checking it out on a website like CharityNavigator.org. Also, it’s best to contact a charity on your own instead of following a website or email link.
3. Package theft
Its holiday time, and those UPS and FedEx trucks are everywhere, dropping off boxes of goodies all over the neighborhood. Usually, these drop-offs go as planned. Unfortunately, millions of customers will have their packages stolen from their doorsteps this year.
Don’t be one of them! If possible, arrange for a delivery that requires your signature upon receipt. Otherwise, track your order and know when to look out for it so you can bring it inside as quickly as possible after it is dropped off.
4. Bogus sites
Don’t believe any ads or websites that are practically giving away items for free. These are, most likely, scams. Once you click an ad link and place an order, you will never hear from the site again. Worse yet, they may use the personal information you shared to steal your identity.
Only shop on reputable sites. Remember to check the website address/URL before placing an order. It may look similar to a popular site, but if one letter is off or missing completely, the site is bogus. Also, always look for that important “s” after the “http” in the web address to verify a site’s security.
5. Temporary holiday jobs
Many scammers will pose as employees of recognized businesses and post help-wanted ads on social media platforms and popular websites. When a job seeker follows the links in these ads, they are directed to a bogus site that looks just like the site of the company the scammer claims to represent. They will be asked to share personal information to submit an application. The scammer will then make off with this information and the promised job will never materialize. If you are looking for a seasonal job, apply in-person or directly on a business’s website. Do not follow any links.
As always, stay alert and use caution to keep your money — and your information — safe. Make sure to utilize your Benefits Plus® checking account with SeaComm for additional protection! Your Benefits Plus® membership entitles you to identity theft services, free annual credit reports, IDT Restoration Rescue® and more. You may even upgrade to Benefits Plus® Premium, which provides you with all the advantages of a Benefits Plus® checking account, plus additional protection from Ultimate ID®, which includes:
- 3 bureau credit monitoring
- Internet monitoring
- Instant inquiry alerts
- Remediation and lost documentation replacement services.
Visit your local SeaComm branch to upgrade your checking account, today!
For complete information, terms, conditions and exclusions please visit www.benefits-plus.org or call 866-329-7587.
Click here to access the SeaComm Fraud Center, which includes valuable resources to help educate and empower our members to protect their assets and identities.