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Tis the Season to Avoid Those Holiday Scams!

The fraud at brick-and-mortar stores has decreased with the adoption of the chip card readers at retailers nationwide. This has caused scammers to look elsewhere to trick their victims and their efforts have shifted to online fraud. 

Many consumers will choose to shop online this season for various reasons. Be cautious when you purchase things online as you could fall for one of many different scams. Here are a few scams to be on the lookout for. 

Holiday Scams: 

  1. Online Purchases: Anytime you make a purchase online you will want to look at the hyperlink for the https in the address (the ’s’ stands for secure) and for a lock symbol. This will help identify whether or not the site is secure. 
  2. Spoofed Websites: When shopping online, make sure to use legitimate websites. Watch out for URL’s that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words. 
  3. Fake Shipping Notifications: Receive an email saying your package has been shipped and you haven't ordered anything? Don’t be fooled, this is more than likely a phishing scam and the links within the email are malicious and will download malware to your computer to steal your identity and passwords. 
  4. Emergency Scam: Be cautious if you receive a phone call from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested, or hospitalized while traveling in another country. These scammers will trick you by creating a sense of urgency by pulling at your emotional strings. Ask for a number to call them back at; and verify who they are by contacting who they said they were with your own contact information. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true. 
  5. Temporary Holiday Jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to directly to the retailer's main website to find out who is hiring. 
  6. Unusual Forms of Payment: Is someone asking you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers? Be wary as these payments cannot be traced. 
  7.  “Free” Gift Cards: Pop-up ads or emails offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information to later use for identity theft. Don’t be fooled, there is no such thing as a free lunch because someone has to pay for it!

For more security tips, visit our Security Center.