5 Festive Scams to Avoid
Using Smartphone’s and tablets to do Christmas shopping can seem a lot easier than battling the crowds. But going digital offers cyber crooks an opportunity to use scams tailored to the season in order to steal personal information for identity fraud and spread malicious software.
Here’s what to watch out for this year from those dodgy little buggers!
Should your mobile number get into the wrong hands you might be exposed to a text scam. A crafty crook can send text messages promising free gifts or prizes. But following the link might encourage you to share personal details that can leave you exposed to identity theft, or ask you to download something that contains malware that infects your device.
If you plan to do most of your Christmas shopping online, beware of fake websites posing as legitimate retailers. You should check names and web addresses carefully for subtle differences that indicate the site is a fake and wherever possible limit your shopping to known and trusted names.
Festive travel scams
Travel is a big part of the festive period and many will be looking for the best deals online. Cyber thieves are well aware of this and use bogus offers for great deals to trick bargain hunters into entering credit card details and other private information.
Bogus gift cards
If you’re planning on buying a gift card for a loved one, make sure it’s official. Gift card deals are sometimes promoted via ads on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. These third-party websites might be selling bogus gift cards that will leave the recipient red-faced when trying to cash it in.
You’re better off going direct to a retailer.
The festive season can move people to reach out to those less fortunate, but scammers are on hand to take full advantage of this generosity, setting up fake charity sites to pocket donations. Be on the lookout for bogus charities using copied text and logos in emails or on websites.