The holidays are bustling with traveling, shopping, browsing for online deals and enjoying the season. Spend it worry-free by avoiding these 12 holiday scams.
Phishing can occur via email, text message, phone call or website pop-up message. Never respond to spam emails or texts, click on embedded links or give out personal information to companies or people you don’t trust.
Report phishing attempts to spam.use.gov or [email protected]
Protecting Your Home
While traveling this holiday season, take precautions to make it appear someone is home. Setting your lights to a timer, having a neighbor pick up your mail or hiring a house sitter are good preventative measures.
Social Media Scams
Articles advertising phony contests, get-rich-quick schemes, fake job postings and more can be misleading. If you see something of interest, try searching for the organization’s official website using a search engine that isn’t a social media outlet.
Only book trips through secure and reputable sites. To double check, call the hotel directly and confirm your reservation.
Never send money back to someone who sent you a check for the “wrong amount.” When in doubt, call your bank, the authorities or the person who sent you the check to verify it’s legitimate.
When deciding which charities to support, visit the charity’s official website and research to ensure it is legitimate. Look for working and correct links, a site with clear expertise on its subject and https:// at the beginning of the web address.
Malicious Mobile Apps
Only download apps from official app stores, and read the app permission policies to ensure you are getting a real app. Be wary of apps with no reviews or those offering extremely discounted products.
Phony Gift Cards
Only purchase gift cards from official outlets and keep the confirmation receipt until the gift card has been used as proof of purchase.
Only open e-cards from someone you know and that come from an official e-card company. Never click on any links or respond with your personal information.
Beware of fraudsters who call the elderly pretending to be a relative, usually a grandchild, stranded without money and asking for funds to be wired. No matter what the caller says, always hang up and call the person being impersonated or their parent to check the validity of the call.
Shop in groups, try to avoid shopping at night, and keep your belongings close to you during the busy holiday shopping season.
Temporary Holiday Job Scams
Only give your personal information to an official source for a job listing. Visit or call the business to ensure the job listing is legitimate.