10 Online Scams to Watch Out for This Christmas
1. Fake Gifts
Whether it’s a counterfeit item, or a phishing website trying to gain your bank details, fake gifts are widespread during Black Friday and should be treated with caution. It’s important to check the website is legitimate and has a contact form or process. It’s useful to remember that if something seems too cheap to be true, it might well be.
2. Gift card emails
These emails will promise a token amount gifted to you by a stranger or family member. There will be a link embedded in the email and it’s important not to click on this if you are at all suspicious, as it could be riddled with malware.
3. Fake charities
During the festive period, many charities reach out asking people to help those in need. Unfortunately, this leads to scammers posing as charities. Who will either look to keep the donations they receive for themselves or gain access to your personal details.
4. Social media messages
Friends and contacts, who have had their accounts hacked, may send you a message during the festive period promising a gift or an E-Card to open. It’s important to be wary of these messages as it’s unlikely someone you know would send a Christmas present through a social media message.
5. Fake holidays
As the weather gets colder, lots of us dream about escaping somewhere warm during the festive period. Consequently, fraudulent adverts offering holiday deals are popular across the internet during Christmas.
6. Fraudulent surveys
Fake surveys are a problem year-round, but as many of us are keen to get a bit of extra spending money before Christmas you should be extra cautious around these. The large majority are fake and even the few that aren’t ask for a lot of your details in exchange for a small monetary gain.
7. Shipping status emails
We keep a keen eye on delivery notifications during the festive period and click on these updates faster than we would at other times during the year, but this can lead to cyber attacks with malware hiding in these links.
8. Malware E-Cards
Unfortunately, in the digital world, not every Christmas card is an innocent as it appears. In that card might just be hiding something that could infect your computer and steal your data. Be extra cautious when opening emails from unknown contacts.
9. Desktop backgrounds
A peculiar one, but in recent years we’ve seen an increase in malware contained in desktop background bundles, particularly the animated festive ones.
With more of us shopping on the go, public Wi-Fi networks might seem like a good idea, but can be incredibly unsafe to input your bank and other personal details into.