‘Tis the Season

Cybersecurity blog banner - beware phishing scams

The holiday season is a time of generosity and giving. The Cyber Grinch knows this too and is ready to take advantage of your unselfishness and stress during this festive time. Here are some common scams to be aware of:

Package delivery – Many shoppers turn to online shopping and packages are delivered to the home via UPS, FedEx, USPS and other services. Scammers will send texts or emails notifying the recipient of an issue with their delivery. Inspect the notice very carefully for misspellings, incorrect link to the online site, alternate shipping service other than stated on the order, or links that request personal information or payment. Check your order confirmation for details.

Gift Cards are a popular selection that gives the recipient flexibility in choosing their gift. An online gift card purchase is a safer choice. Make sure to purchase from a reputable company. When buying gift cards in person, assure that the packaging is intact. Crooks will scratch off the claim code on the card and cover it back up with a phony label. Then they keep checking to see when the card has been activated with cash. As soon as it is, they will drain the card before you even have a chance to gift it.

Charity scams – This is more prevalent during the holidays since crooks like to take advantage of you’re generosity. They may create fake organizations and market this on social media. Sometimes the scammers will alter the name of a legitimate charity to seem recognizable. Exercise diligence when choosing where to donate. Investigate the charity. There are some online resources for checking the reputation of charities.

Too Good to Be True – If you receive an email, phone call or text message with an offer that seems unbelievable, then it probably is.

Open Enrollment – This is the time to add or change your health coverage for Medicare. Keep in mind that anyone contacting you and claiming to be an agent of these systems is a crook. There are NO Medicare sales representatives. Don’t give information to anyone that calls you and insists they need this information so that you can keep your coverage.

Charity Navigator