With holiday glee comes fraudsters lurking & waiting to spoil that cheerfulness. While you might be more open to giving this season, there are plenty of people pretending to be someone they’re not, making your charitable donation more of a headache than a heartfelt contribution. Here are a few of our tips to stay safe from scammers not only this holiday season, but to keep in mind all year long.
- Fake Email Notifications
Enjoy the convenience of shopping online but be cautious of false emails. Once a consumer clicks on one, things could spiral out of control very fast. Double check the sender’s email for typos or bad grammar before opening.
- Phony Charities
Giving to the less-fortunate during this season just makes you feel extra fuzzy inside but be cautious before handing over your credit card number. Do your research, look for sound-alike names and verify the charity at Give.org before opening your wallet.
- Social Media Gift Exchange
Often called “The Secret Sister Scam” this is when you send one gift to someone but get several in return. This is just an easy way to get ahold of your personal information such as address, phone number and name. Keep in mind, if it’s a deal too good to be true, it probably is.
- Temporary Holiday Jobs
Lots of retailers and businesses are looking for an extra hand during the holiday busy season but be cautious of secret shoppers and other types of too easy to be real side gigs. You shouldn’t ever have to pay anything to an employer upfront either. If you’re serious about putting extra hours in for extra income this season, apply for the job in person. Do not give personal information over the phone.
While these are just a handful of the numerous scams that pop up around the giving season, always use common sense when talking to strangers or buying things. It might seem like a great charity or genuine person but they could cause a much bigger dilemma than the simple second it took to give them what they wanted.