Several cybercriminals are using the holiday season to trick numerous individuals. In relation to this, people must be aware of three Christmas scams to prevent falling victim.
Christmas Scams 2021
The Federal Bureau of Investigation works hard to ensure that you wouldn’t fall for widely recognized online scam tactics.
Cyber scammers may take your hard-earned money, personal information and, most importantly, the holiday spirit.
In relation to this, a top cybersecurity expert and co-host of a podcast on avoiding online scams Adam Levin stated that people are preoccupied around the holidays, which is why there is an increase in online frauds.
“They are addressing work concerns. They are thinking about charitable donations. They are thinking about family holidays. [and] I’m trying to find the perfect gift for someone,” Levin furthered on The Web Serv.
The FBI noted that non-delivery and non-payment scams are the two most common types of cyber fraud.
Non-delivery scam occurs when a buyer pays for products or services found online but never receives them. While a non-payment scam occurs when products or services were delivered without any payment to the vendor.
Additionally, phishing is another well-known Christmas scam, per Eyewitness News.
This type of online scam occurs when a victim clicks on a web link that pushes them to reveal personal information such as names, passwords and bank account credentials. Malware is sometimes put into the victim’s device to steal their data without them knowing.
Apart from these recognized frauds, you must be more aware of three other Christmas scams that is commonly used by online scammers.
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3 Christmas Scams 2021 You Should Watch Out For
3. Fake Account Expiration Notice
During this time of the year, scammers may phone, text or email you, claiming that your account has expired. The said account could be a small account, such as a Netflix subscription, or a large account, like an energy bill.
Levin further explained that scammers will try to convince you that you didn’t pay your bill.
According to him, the goal of this type of scam is to create panic so that you can send money without risking losing service.
2. Fake Bank And Credit Card Account Issues
A scammer pretending as a representative of a bank or credit card business is one of the most common and well-known online frauds.
Same with the fake account expiration notice, this type of cyber scam also contacts you by sending SMS and emails.
For this reason, even if the caller ID suggests that the call is from a respectable organization, you must not give personal information to someone who calls unexpectedly.
If you have a bank or credit card problem that you want to address immediately, it is advisable to head directly to the official bank or credit card website instead of searching the internet.
1. Fraudulent Websites That Steal Your Money And Information
Scammers may take your money in a variety of ways when you buy things online, but Levin has highlighted two major concerns.
The said two significant problems are skimming and website URLs.
“First of all, there are situations where people buy from legitimate websites, but unfortunately the malicious code is placed by the checkout of that website, so when going to checkout, a particular retailer You also unknowingly provide hackers with payment information and potentially personal information when you provide information to hackers,” Levin said of skimming.
On the other hand, another major concern to be aware of is fake websites that appear to be legitimate.
Scammers frequently create websites with URLs that are missing only one or two characters. For example, it ends in “.cm” rather than “.com,” which is a minor distinction that is sometimes missed.
4 FBI Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Holiday Scams
Since several cybercriminals have been doubling their work to scam people, the FBI has shared a few tips to prevent being tricked.
- Maintain proper cybersecurity awareness.
- Know who you’re purchasing from and who you’re selling to before making transactions.
- Pay attention to the method of payment you use.
- Keep a close eye on the shipment.
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