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Watch out for these 4 holiday scams

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It is a busy time of 12 months for everybody. It’s possible you’ll be planning your meals for hosting or traveling to see family members, and also you’re more likely than not beginning to take into consideration gifts to purchase before the brand new 12 months.

Scammers know the way easy it’s to catch you off guard during this time of 12 months, so we’re here to warn you about 4 of essentially the most common ways you’ll be able to turn into a victim around the vacations. 

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4 common holiday scams to look at out

1. Package delivery scam

With the vacation season in full swing, the end-of-year sales have begun and you most likely have already began your holiday shopping and expecting packages coming via several types of delivery services like FedEx, UPS, or USPS. So in case you receive a text that mentions a package delivery, chances are you’ll be prone to easily fall for a scam.

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I used to be expecting a package recently and received this text out of the blue:

For those who receive a text that mentions a package delivery, chances are you’ll be prone to easily fall for a scam.
(Kurt Knutsson)

Although the text says the sender will not be in my contact list and that it could be junk, I almost clicked the link because I used to be so focused on the undeniable fact that there can have been a typo in my delivery address. But once I looked a little bit closer, there have been just a few red flags on this text message that tipped me off to it being a scam.

Red Flag 1: The link doesn’t lead you to usps.com – it is a fake link that scammers hope you will not notice. Notice it’s uspsts.top…and never usps.com. This can be a common scam going around called ‘typosquatting’ that I’ve written about in other articles where a scammer uses a site that appears near an actual website. Next, the text says “pls” which is lingo you likely would not see in correspondence from the USPS. Scammers often make typos or use poor grammar when communicating, so all the time double-check.

Red Flag 2: Scammers are sending emails, texts, and even occasionally there could possibly be a phone call that’s regarding a difficulty with package delivery. It might be something like this text I received that has a link where they’ll find yourself asking for information, or chances are you’ll be asked to pay a “shipping fee” to get your package.

Use Protection: Remember to all the time have good antivirus protection running in your devices to forestall any disasters from happening in case you were to click on a malicious link. You’ll find my reviews of the perfect antivirus protection at CyberGuy.com.

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How one can avoid package delivery scams

For those who expect a package and also you’re wondering in case you’ve received real information or not about it, the perfect method to check is to go to the unique confirmation you received about shipping. You most certainly received an email regarding your package, and in case you go to that email to get your order number, you must have the option to look up the status of your order directly on any website.

2. Charity scams

Sadly, charity scams aren’t recent, but they’re far more prevalent through the holiday season since scammers are hoping you feel more generous during this time of 12 months.

Sometimes scammers may create fake names of organizations to get you to donate money, or they might reach out to you via phone/email/text posing as someone working for a legitimate charity. Social media has also turn into a well-liked place for charities to market themselves to succeed in more eyes in hopes of donations, so scammers may attempt to pose about fake charities.

These schemes will attempt to appeal to your emotions during this season, so make sure double check where you donate your money so you do not fall for a scam.

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How one can avoid charity scams

Never give your money to anyone immediately who approaches you or reaches out on behalf of any organization without doing all of your own independent research. Either do a little bit googling or check with a member of the family to see if it’s real and whether it is, you must have the option to donate on an official website or to an official address. You may all the time mention this to anyone who asks you to donate somewhere – don’t fall into the pressure of donating right then and there.

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Also, all the time double-check the name of a company. Sometimes (especially online) scammers will alter the name of a known organization barely to trick you into donating.

3. Social media gift exchange scam 

The Higher Business Bureau is warning a few gift exchange scam and a recent twist that is happening in recent holiday seasons. It’s a web based version of the favored “Secret Santa” gift exchange. Nonetheless, the BBB says these social media-driven gift exchanges are literally pyramid schemes and you’ll most certainly be disillusioned in case you participate.

Be careful to avoid gift exchange scams that originate on social media.

Watch out to avoid gift exchange scams that originate on social media.
(File)

Previously few years, variations of the gift exchange have popped up, with someone asking you to pick a random person and send them a present to pay it forward. One other asks you to exchange bottles of wine with another person, and while it seems fun and light-hearted, you do not know who’s on the receiving end.

How one can avoid social media gift exchange scams

It might sound nice to send a vacation gift to a stranger in turn for receiving multiple gifts yourself, but you are never going to receive many (if any) gifts in any respect. Don’t take part in gift exchanges with anyone you do not know, or you will not have the option to ensure you may actually be gifting someone who is not a scammer.

4. Gift card scams

Gift card scams are one other popular method that has been rising in popularity recently, but it surely’s especially necessary to look at out for the chances since chances are you’ll be purchasing gift cards for friends or family for the vacations.

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Scammers often steal gift cards and use the knowledge before they make it appear to be they didn’t. There are plenty of methods that they will trick you using gift cards, so in case you can send a web based one (so that you could ensure you have purchased it on a legitimate, official website) that will be a much safer alternative.

How one can avoid gift card scams

For those who’re getting anyone a present card and buying it in person, remember to check that the package hasn’t been tampered with. Double-check that nothing on the packaging looks suspicious since scammers will attempt to make it seem to be the package was sealed, but they are going to have already got used the gift card so that you’re essentially buying a useless piece of plastic.

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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher together with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

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