Tips For Protecting Yourself From Scams During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time of the year, meant to be filled with family, gifting, and celebrating. Unfortunately, in the midst of all the fun holiday events lures a large threat, holiday scams.

What Are Holiday Scams?

Holiday scams are yearly threats that attack holiday shoppers and sellers typically during the months of November, December, and January. These scams can come in the form of an email, text message, phone call/voicemail, or even through a note left at your doorstep.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported that non-payment and non-delivery schemes cost victims around $282 million a year and is increasing! According to the FBI’s 2022 Internet Crime Report, there were a total of 51,679 holiday scams reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). With the growing impact of AI and current cyber trends, we expect to see a higher rate of successful holiday scams in 2023.

Tips for protecting yourself during the holiday season

  • Never click a link or open an attachment from any unknown source.
  • Be cautious of any text messages stating that your package could not be delivered.
  • If a deal appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of urgent offers/requests.

Only visit trusted websites

  • Only visit websites with https and a lock symbol in the URL.
  • Duplicate websites are created to mimic well-known companies. Thoroughly review the website before making any purchases.
  • If you’re unsure if an interaction is legitimate, contact the company directly.

Only donate to reputable charities or organizations that you trust

  • Do thorough research before completing any donations.
  • Be suspicious of newly formed charities.
  • Be cautious of phone calls requesting donations.

Protect your accounts

  • If possible, make purchases with credit cards or use third-party payment methods like Apple Pay and PayPal.
  • Add purchase alerts to your accounts to monitor for unauthorized transactions.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi without a VPN or a mobile hotspot.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication to add an additional layer of protection to your accounts.

Additionally, we invite you to reference the cybersecurity booklet below and watch the video replay from our prior cybersecurity event to learn more about how to protect yourself.