6 Naughty Holiday Scams to Beware of This Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Unfortunately, though, not everything about the holiday season is all happy and nice. Watch out for these six naughty holiday scams. 

  1. Online shopping scams

In this scam, a shopper visits a bogus site that appears to belong to a popular retailer and purchases an item that does not exist. The shopper will never receive the ordered item, nor will they be able to reclaim their lost funds. Be extra cautious Black Friday - Cyber Monday. If the deal seems way too good to be true on a website you aren't familar with, make sure to do more research on where you are trying to puchase from before moving forward with your puchase.

Protect yourself: Only shop reputable websites. Check the URL of each landing page you visit to ensure you are still on a trusted site. URLs should be Https:// vs. Http:// if you are providing any personal information on the site. The "s" indicated that they are secure for your personal data. 

  1. Charity scams

Here, a charity targets do-gooders in the weeks leading up to the holidays, asking for donations. Unfortunately, though, the charity is completely bogus, and the money will go right into the hands of scammers. 

Protect yourself: If you want to donate money to a specific charity, seek them out yourself instead of following a link or ad. Verify charities on sites like Charity Navigator, or CharityWatch

  1. Gift card scams

In a gift card scam, fraudsters convince victims to share their gift card codes by pretending to be tech support or another believable contact. 

Protect yourself: Never share sensitive information with an unverified contact. 

  1. Porch pirates

Here, thieves stake out private residences and snatch delivered packages off porches soon after they arrive. Scammers may even follow delivery trucks so they can easily pilfer. Once they make off with the goods, there’s no way to recover the packages. 

Protect yourself: Track your ordered packages, and once notified that an item has been delivered, bring it inside immediately. 

  1. Travel scams

In holiday travel scams, fraudsters offer vacation package trips at rock-bottom prices. Then, they  disappear once the victim has paid. 

Protect yourself: Research any travel agency you’re using and be wary of sites and ads containing poor grammar and/or lots of spelling mistakes. 

  1. Romance scams

In this scam, a love interest will build a relationship with an unsuspecting target, and then ask the victim for funds. 

Protect yourself: Be wary of quick-building relationships and do a reverse-image search on new love interests. Also, never wire money to an unverified contact. 

Don’t let scammers be the grinch this Christmas. Stay safe!