‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, the scams keep coming by phone, mailbox and click of the mouse!’ Most of us will be very busy this time of year with shopping, planning celebrations of joy and wishing each other good tidings of the season. This is a time where we look to our faith and we focus on the good in people, we reach out to help those in need and are thankful for what we have; but I must remind each of us to stay alert because criminals don’t pause to enjoy the holidays, they will be busy ramping up the scams, fraud and thefts while we maybe putting our guard down.
Let’s take a look at a few popular scams and tactics we need to be on the look out for.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Watch for emails that look like Amazon our other big name shopping sites advising you to re-enter credit card information to have your order processed.
- Fake emails may also appear to be from UPS or FedEx suggesting a parcel delivery attempt and asking you to click a link to confirm. This could place spyware or malware on your computer.
- When being asked for a charity donation, never provide personal information or payment until you are sure who you are dealing with.
- Be cautious of phone calls and emails that sound like a friend or family member in trouble while traveling, always try another way of contacting them to confirm the information.
- If you are staying at a hotel over the holidays, be warned of a late call from the front desk asking to run your credit card again for your room. Go down to the registration desk in person and check.
- When purchasing gift cards look on the back of cards to ensure the validation code is not showing and there are no signs of tampering.
Additionally be on guard of high ticket items being sold online and out of the back of trucks in parking lots, always shop with legitimate businesses. When online, never shop or conduct any financial transactions on free WiFi as scammers can reroute your connection to a false site and check the url for https: on pages requesting login or credit card information.
This article has been written to provide basic information to warn the public about common fraud and scams by the Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers’ Association (PCPOA) a non-profit 501c(3) In cooperation with Crime Alert Berks County. For more information please visit our website at www.PaCrimePrevention.org