Expert Investigations have put together a ‘scams for Christmas’ list to educate and inform on the most common scams that are used around this time. Make sure you are taking the right precautions to protect yourself and your organisation.
1. Not such a great gift
Sometimes it’s the easy option for a gift but gift cards are now more regularly being used as a way of scamming you out of your money and social media is used to promote them on-line. Be careful where you buy your gift cards from any retailer you are not familiar with or one which you have accessed through a banner advertisement – Always do your research before entering any of your personal details.
2. Don’t get scammed this Christmas
It can be difficult to know exactly who the person is behind the computer screen. If they seem more interested in asking for money and personal information than meeting you – maybe it isn’t romance that they are after this Christmas but your personal information? Be careful who you give your details to!
3. The Rudolf Charity? Are you sure?
This may well be a real charity but ALWAYS check in case it is a fake. Donating to charities is common this time of year for many looking to help others. However, cyber criminals take advantage of this generosity, and set up fake charity sites and pocket the donations. You can also easily check the registered charity number is genuine.
4. Your pin number is not a gift
So don’t give it away! Courier scams are becoming very popular. These are when you are called on your landline by who you think is your bank and get told that fraudsters have used your debit or credit card and it needs to be replaced. You call your bank, which confirms this. You are told to key in your pin number and hand over your card to a courier who will arrive soon. However, between receiving the call and dialling your bank you don’t hear a dial tone and are actually still speaking to the scammers, who never disconnected the line. A bank will never ask for your pin number!
5. Christmas Holiday help!
An email arrives from a friend or relative stating that their account has been hacked. They tell you they are stranded abroad and need you to send them money urgently. This is usually not the case, call them first to find out before sending any money anywhere or reply with questions that they should know about you if they are who they say they are.
6. No rocking around the Christmas tree
Buying someone a concert or theatre ticket is a nice gift to give someone. However this is also what fraudsters rely on therefore they set up fake ticket sites to prey on you. You book your tickets and receive confirmation of payment however the tickets never arrive or if they do they are fakes! Always purchase your tickets from a reputable provider and try when possible to purchase using a credit card so that they are insured.
7. Cheap does not always mean bargain
If it’s cheap there is usually a good reason for it – Counterfeit goods which can include designer clothes, bags, accessories and perfumes as well as pirate DVDs, CDs and computer games. If the price seems too good to be true then that’s probably because they are. Be careful when shopping in markets and on-line auction sites.
8. We’re all going on a bargain Christmas holiday… or are you?
Make sure it isn’t bogus! If you find an incredibly cheap holiday on the internet or Teletext please beware as they either don’t exist or you end up getting what you pay for, which probably won’t be the 5 star hotel advertised. Always do a thorough search for the travel company and ask questions before parting with your money.
9. Going, going, gone!
Be careful when buying on-line that the product is what was advertised. Always look at the reviews the seller gets and try where possible to pay via Pay Pal so that if anything goes wrong your money and the transaction are covered and secure.
10. Driving home for Christmas
Watch yourself on the roads this Christmas! Criminals will deliberately cause accidents by flashing their lights at other drivers at junctions to apparently let drivers out of a junction and then proceed to crash into them on purpose! This is known as crash for cash so beware.
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