7 Holiday Scams & How To Avoid Them

On the seventh day of Christmas, some scammers sent to me: 7 hackers hacking, 6 fake websites, 5 delivery dupes, 4 phishing emails, 3 infected apps, 2 bogus charities, and a gift card worth nothing!red holiday gift

The holiday season is a time of giving for most but a time of stealing for some. As Americans’ spending amounts rise so does the efforts of scammers. We want you to be aware of these 7 common holiday scams so that you can have a safe, merry season! 

1. Credit card hacking

Hackers often target the computers of major retailers, especially during the holidays. When making those big holiday purchases, it’s encouraged to pay with credit cards over debit cards. Credit cards are more protected than debit cards in the event of fraudulent activity. EMV chip cards are a bonus security measure as well. Read more about EMV on our handy EMV guide and give our live customer support a call to get your FREE EMV chip ready terminal. 1-866-651-3068

2. Fake websites

Scammers create phony retail sites that claim to offer popular products at low prices. Sometimes these deals really are too good to be true! Google searches won’t always bring you to fair e-commerce sites because some scammers are knowledgeable on search engine optimization. To avoid this holiday scam, only buy from online retailers that you know and trust.

3. Delivery dupes:

Be on the lookout for fake delivery notices that ask you to call a number in order to receive a package. Con artists are waiting for you to call so that they can pose as legitimate delivery companies and collect your sensitive information. Delivery giants like FedEx and UPS don’t need this info, so do not disclose your private info to receive a delivery.

4. Phishing emails:

Crooks looking to steal your delicate personal information may try via phishing scams. These may show up in your email inbox in the form of ecards, coupons, newsletters or other appealing offers. When clicked, these emails can infect your computer or device with a malicious virus. One of these viruses is called a keylogger, which records all of your keystrokes and sends it to the thieves. Your keystrokes could include your credit card numbers, online account passwords or social security number, just to name a few. Again, some offers are too good to be true, and you should always be wary of what you’re clicking online and who it is from.

5. Illegitimate holiday apps: 

Apps that promise coupons and holiday shopping deals appear in mobile markets around the holidays. Most are the real deal, but some are aiming to steal your information. Like phishing emails, fake apps containing viruses can log your keystrokes and take your private data without your permission. Apps that are released on the Apple App Store and Google Play have been examined and should be safe to download, but don’t download apps from third party app markets or websites.

6. Bogus charities:

Thieves take advantage of people feeling more charitable around the holidays by posing as a charity organization. It’s wise not to trust an email or phone request for a donation. Contact charities directly to make sure your money goes to the right place. Verify that a charity is legitimate with Charity Navigator. Not only does Charity Navigator validate organizations, it tells you what exactly your donation would go towards.

7. Gift card scams: 

Everyone loves receiving a gift card, but thieves can comprise these versatile presents. They do so by scanning the magnetic strips of gift cards left on store counters then wait until the card is activated and filled with funds. Scammers can then use the card online, for example, to order things without having the tangible card. Frontline Processing recommends that you purchase gift cards that are kept behind the counter and check your gift card balance for any inconsistencies. 

Happy holidays from Frontline Processing! On average, we save our merchants 12% or more on their credit card processing fees. 

Sources: 9 News Colorado, ABC News

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