The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for scammers.
Nearly one in four Americans report falling victim to holiday scams.
On major shopping days, the danger to consumers is worse.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers need to be aware.
(NewsReady.com) – Scammers operate year-round, but they’re especially active during the holiday season. That’s because the number of people using the internet skyrockets, leaving people vulnerable to scams. Tricksters target holiday shoppers who are looking to drop lots of cash to buy the perfect gifts for their family and friends, meaning the payout is larger.
On major shopping days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Americans are especially vulnerable. Those days are right around the corner. Of course, the only way to really avoid scams is to know what to look for first. So, here are some scams to avoid this Black Friday.
No, we aren’t talking about reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s clothing line “Skims” here. Skimming is the technology scam artists use to steal credit card information. You’ve probably heard about it happening at gas pumps around your town, or maybe at ATM machines. But, that isn’t the only way skimmers can get your credit card information.
As more people shop online, hackers have figured out how to insert malware into websites to steal shoppers’ credit card information when they’re paying online. Tim Mackey, principal security strategist for Synopsis, spoke to CNET about what consumers can do to protect themselves. He recommends:
- not saving bank information to retail sites
- use third-party payment methods like PayPal
- only make purchases on secured websites and secured servers
- enable purchase alerts on your cards
It’s very important to make sure that you’re only buying from websites that are legitimate and secured. Scammers have gotten very good at spoofing sites; that’s when they build a website that looks almost exactly the same as a popular retail site. To avoid these scams, make sure the website address doesn’t look funny or have misspelled words. You can tell if a site is secured by finding a padlock icon in the address bar. Do not use links in your email for websites. Type the site name in your address bar yourself. In fact, you never want to click a link in an email that did not come from a friend or family member.
If something sounds funny, it probably is. Do not give your personal financial information to anyone, and make sure you always know where your money is going. Happy shopping!
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