The holidays are here, and that means fun, delicious food, quality time with your family… and scam attempts. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself Against Holiday Scams
According to the FBI, the two most common types of holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment scams. A 2020 report shows that these two types of schemes cost people more than $265 million, with credit card fraud accounting for another $129 million.
The IRS, for his part, is sounding the alarm about fake charities. Criminals try to take advantage of the goodwill that the holiday season generates to steal funds and personal information. Regardless of the strategy, these easy tips will help you thwart scammers:
- The most basic rules of cybersecurity also apply during the holidays. So don’t click on any links or download any attachments contained in suspicious emails.
- Consider it a huge red flag if a company sends an unrequested email asking you to change or verify your passport. Find the company’s official phone number and can call them to verify the email is legitimate.
- Before making a purchase online, check the website URL (the website address) and make sure it includes the term “https.” If it doesn’t, don’t move forward with the transaction.
- When shopping online, avoid using the public or unsecured WiFi available in places like malls or coffee shops.
- When it comes to donations, be wary of unrequested calls. Don’t let callers pressure you into making a donation (a huge red flag). Remember: no legitimate charity requests prepaid gift cards as donations.
- NEVER wire money directly to a charity or online seller.
- When purchasing items online, always get a tracking number so you can monitor the shipping process
Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services
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