The festive season is meant for giving, but this is also the season of scamming and defrauding. According to experts, with the rampant popularity of smartphone, scam activities become very easy. Consumers are using their smartphone to manage the holiday rush and expose their personal and financial information to the scammers unknowingly. Unsafe online activities can ruin your financial stability.

Common scams of festive season you must be aware of

If you don't want to spoil the holiday merriment by falling victim to scams, then educate yourself beforehand. Here are some common holiday scams that are dangerous. You must watch them out to keep yourself safe during the festive season.

Travel scams

Holidays are perfect for traveling around. Scammers know it well and take its advantage. They can easily trap you while you're busy on searching or booking for flights, hotels, and so on. They can steal your credit card number and other private information. So, don’t trust unknown websites. They may offer unrealistically low prices to attract consumers, but, they’re all fake. Browse authentic websites to book flights, hotels.

Fraudulent charities

Beware of fake charities. Cyber criminals can use copied text, logos to make you fool. You may receive numerous fake emails or advertisement in your mailbox before the festive season starts. So, it’s advisable to visit the charity’s legitimate website before giving money.

Fictitious jobs

Suddenly, your mailbox starts receiving job offering emails. Am I right? If yes, then stay away from those emails. Those are actually sent as a trap to steal your personal and financial information. Many people want to earn some extra money from seasonal jobs and get trapped of scam jobs.

How can you identify them? Don’t accept the job if:

  • The person asks you to pay an application fee or a processing fee.
  • The employer offers you an exceptionally high salary.
  • The employer gives you only a web address and only a contact no.

Fake shopping sites

Check clearly before placing an order on shopping sites. There are many shopping websites that take your orders but never ship them. They display the items on the website only to attract the consumers; they don’t have the items in stock. So, always try to order from those websites you’re familiar with. Try not to purchase from overseas vendors as well.

Bogus SMS

A scammer can get your mobile number from websites and can text you about free gifts and prizes. Those SMSs contain a link. Once you click the link, scammers can get your personal information. Don’t open such an SMS or obtain DND (Do Not Disturb) to stop receiving these type of SMSs.

How you can protect yourself from holiday scams

There are many scams that can damage your festive mood. You need to take proper steps to protect yourself. Remember, your one wrong click can ruin your financial life.

So, be careful and stay informed to avoid dangerous scam activities. Here’s how:

Check carefully

Try not to believe anything that comes to your door or inbox. If any offer sounds too attractive, then research more closely before accepting the offer. Check the image resolution, spelling, logo, and links carefully before placing an online order.

Use proper computer security

Protect your computer first. Install anti-virus, anti-spam, and the firewall on your computer and update them on a regular basis. Thus, you’ll be able to avoid holiday-related malware, spyware, and other scams.

Research, research, and research

You need to research whether or not the company is legitimate before making online purchases, donating money, and so on. Visit the company’s website and try to read reviews before making any decision.

Be careful while downloading apps

Check out before downloading any app on your smartphone. Download all apps from an official app store. Avoid third party stores that request too many permissions. Install antivirus software on your smartphone.

Be careful while banking

Cyber criminals know that people spend more money during the holiday season. They may give you fake calls. But, don’t trust those calls. Always dial the bank’s official number for any query. Check carefully before entering the PIN at ATMs.

Use credit card only

Say “NO” to your debit card while shopping online. Pay with your credit cards to get back the loss from your credit card company if you prove that you’ve been scammed. But, if you use a debit card, then your money is already stolen and there is no chance to get back the money.

Read more - Credit card fraud: What you must know about it

Final thoughts

sing free wifi is a dangerous act as it delivers your phone's data over the web. Try not to use the free service while you’re in the public place or take proper precautions before using the service. You must be aware of bank related scams to protect yourself from identity theft as well. Remember, sometimes staying active on social media (Facebook, Twitter) without protecting the account can create troubles. Mostly, scammers can get information from social media platforms. So, always consider privacy policy before using them.

Don’t miss out - Scams that would dump you into debts and thrash credit score

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