The holiday season is a great time for giving; however there are some people that spend the holiday months taking advantage of other people’s generosity. You don’t have to be a victim, and avoiding holiday scams isn’t hard. Remember to take precautions when you are shopping online, and take these other precautions to protect you this holiday season. “Cybercriminals rub their hands with glee when they think of the holidays,” said Gary Davis, director of consumer product marketing at McAfee. “Consumers are making travel plans, shopping for gifts and bargains, updating Facebook and connecting with friends. However the vast majority have no security protection. Here are a few tips for staying ahead of frauds and cybercriminals:

  • Fake Holiday Help: Getting a seasonal job is one of the 5 Best Ways to Make More Money. However it is important to know that there are people out there preying on people looking to make some quick cash. Common scams to look out for include all manner of work-from-home-jobs. If the so-called employer asks for money up front or your Social Security number, you might be on the verge of becoming a victim rather than an employee.
  • Fake charities: According to Money Talk News, they advise never giving money to charities, even spare change until you have checked out the charity first. Here is the FTC’s website where you can look through a charity checklist.
  • Fake Check Scams: In these scams buyers will purchase what you are selling on eBay or Craigslist, etc and pay with a cashier’s check. Their next step is to offer you a cashier’s check for more than your asking price, on the condition that you return the difference. Weeks later, you are informed by your bank that the check was a phony, and you’re now out your money and your goods.
  • Counterfeit Merchandise: In New York and other major cities, it is common to see street vendors selling fake watches and purses that appear to be high-end, name-brand goods. The modern version of these scams is to sell the merchandise online where the buyer has even less opportunity and be sure to buy from an authorized retailer.
  • Email Scams: Many scams start with email, so be especially skeptical of anything that shows up in your inbox. Some messages involve references to recent events, such as a natural disaster or the death of a public figure. Others purport to award lottery winnings or the transfer of wealth from a foreign country. Don’t ever respond to unsolicited email.
  • Phishing scams: An email from a legitimate company, like your bank, insists you log in to their website. You’re then directed to a copycat site that steals your username and password. If you ever doubt any email, don’t reply. Instead, call the company or open up a new browser window and go directly to their website. Check out InfoArmor Identity Protection.

Ninety-nine percent of scams happen when we’re too gullible, too greedy, in too much of a hurry, or when we’re feeling especially charitable. Continue to be generous this season, but just be aware of criminals trying to take advantage of you. To learn more about Online Identity Protection visit us at Connect Your Home or call (888)566-3979. Have you ever been scammed online?