The holidays are almost here, but before you put up your Christmas tree and start ordering gifts, make sure to learn about the two most common types of holiday scams, according to the FBI.
What Are the Two Most Common Types of Holiday Scams?
A lot of people love the holiday season — including scammers. With lots of consumers scrambling to buy gifts, the conditions are perfect for cybercriminals to get unsuspecting victims to provide their personal or banking information.
According to the FBI, the two most common types of holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment scams. Let’s take a closer look at each type of scheme.
As the name suggests, in a non-delivery scam, the consumer sees a product advertised on the internet, orders it and pays for it, but never receives it.
As Interpol explains, non-delivery scams work because criminals create fictitious offers for highly sought-after items. The desire to get such great value clouds the victim’s judgment, even when all the red flags were in plain view. So remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Non-payment scams, on the other hand, occur when a seller ships goods or renders a service but never gets paid.
How to Avoid Holiday Scams?
Make no mistake, cybercriminals are out to get you. The good news is that you can protect yourself by observing some basic rules when you shop online.
- Don’t open emails that seem suspicious (for example, the name of the sender is misplaced or the subject seems out of character).
- Don’t click on any suspicious links and don’t download any attachments unless you are absolutely positive that they are legitimate.
- Cybercriminals try to impersonate reputable websites by using internet domains that can be easily confused with legitimate ones, so pay close attention to a website’s address (for example, scammers may use www.bnak.com instead of www.bank.com)
- Never wire money directly to a seller and never pay with gift cards.
- If you pay online using your credit card, check your statements regularly to catch any suspicious payments as soon as possible.
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