The holidays are a time for sharing and caring. Unfortunately, it’s also a prime season for scammers looking to capitalize on other people’s generosity.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from theft, identity fraud, or worse, in this blog, we’re outlining 5 common scams that occur throughout the holiday season:
With this in mind, you can stay safe and enjoy all the happiness that the holidays have to offer.
For more than 50 years, Ackerman Security has helped Atlanta homeowners safeguard against robberies and home invasions. We’re also experts in automating your home’s technology for complete peace of mind and convenience. To get a free quote on the right products for your home’s needs and budget, give us a call at 800.552.1111 or schedule online today.
Scammers know that shoppers are looking for good deals— especially amidst the financial stress that often accompanies the holidays. For this reason, they’re apt to send special offers on popular holiday gifts via text, email, and social media.
While these “hot deals” may be tempting, they often include links meant to steal your information or install malware on your device. Once they have access to your identity or your contacts, they can either sell it to criminals or use it to gain access to your bank account.
Tell-tale signs of a “hot deal” scam include requests to download an app, fill out a form, or enter your credit card information in order to redeem a free or special gift. Although it can seem harmless (or that someone is just that generous), don’t fall for it. A stolen identity can not only ruin your holiday season, it can wreak havoc on your credit, which has long-term consequences.
With the increase in package deliveries throughout the holidays, scammers will often send fake delivery confirmation emails. Although this might seem strange, they do it to steal your information.
Attempting to come across like an official FedEx or UPS correspondence, these emails include malicious links meant to install viruses on your phone or tablet. Once hackers gain access, they’ll attempt to steal your personal and financial information.
If you receive one of these emails and suspect that it’s fraudulent, do NOT click on any links. You can simply delete it, or forward it to the appropriate carrier’s fraud department:
Of course, less sophisticated criminals will simply steal packages right outside your door. So to prevent package theft during the holidays, call Ackerman for a free quote on a home security system 800.552.1111. We can install state-of-the-art camera systems with real-time monitoring. That way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll have evidence to provide to the authorities.
In addition to fake delivery confirmations, scammers will also send emails with “surprise” gift cards. In the phishing email, they’ll claim that you’ve randomly “won” a free prize, vacation, or shopping spree.
But just like the other scams, this is merely an attempt to steal your information. If you click through the links or provide any personal details, the scammers will use whatever information they can to steal your identity or gain access to your financial institutions.
Like we said above, this can lead to long-term consequences that you don’t want to deal with. To avoid the headache, never click on questionable links or share personal information with people you’re not familiar with.
It’s unfortunate, but during the holidays, some scammers will present themselves as charitable organizations. Whether through email, text, or social media, they may send you a request for donations— claiming that the money will go to a good cause— when the charity is actually non-existent.
Of all the holiday scams, this one can be the most profitable for online thieves looking to take advantage of someone’s goodwill and generosity. So before handing over your hard-earned dollars, it’s not a bad idea to double-check that the charity is authentic.
On websites like https://www.charitynavigator.org/ you can search for the charity name and they’ll let you know whether they have the appropriate government filings.
You can also review the Federal Trade Commission’s website for information on how to avoid donating to fake charities.
Last but not least, scammers are looking to lure you into fake shopping websites meant to steal your information and your money. This can happen at any time of year, but it’s especially important to watch out for during the holidays when more people than ever are shopping online.
To make sure that the website you’re visiting is trustworthy, look for “https” at the beginning of the URL. The “s” at the end of the “http” means that the website is secure.
You should also check to see if there’s a padlock icon at the beginning of the URL. This means the site has an SSL certificate and is an encrypted (and safe!) connection.
At Ackerman, we’re here to protect what matters most. To learn about how you can outfit your Atlanta home with the latest home security and automation solutions, give us a call at 800.522.1111 or schedule your free instant security quote online today!