Experts Warn of a Rise in Holiday Phishing Scams

( – Christmas has passed, but the holiday season isn’t over quite yet. That means scammers are still trying to get one over on people. Experts are warning about an increase in phishing scams and letting consumers know what to look out for.

According to the Department of Justice, scams increase during the holiday season. One of the most common scams during the holiday season is when schemers email or notify people about package delivery. The messages usually include a link so the consumer can track the package. That link could contain malware or convince someone to add their personal information, allowing the scammer to steal their identity. Experts recommend consumers contact delivery services directly for updates about their packages.

Fake websites are another common scam. Criminals create websites that look like legitimate sites for retailers, including the company’s slogan and logo. Consumers then go to the website, enter their personal or credit card information, and the criminal steals their information.

Charity scams are plentiful at the end of the year as taxpayers look for places to donate to get a tax break. Fraudsters pull on the heartstrings of people feeling generous during the holiday season. They reach out to victims online, through unsolicited phone calls, text messages, crowdfunding platforms, and other means. It’s important for consumers to research charities before donating money.

Social media scams are also popular. Consumers can find items in the social media marketplace for a good price, but that could be too good to be true. Experts warn consumers to look out for ads that say “last available” or “limited time” because they could create a false sense that could make people click an ad or reach out to the seller. The ad might also convince the consumer to give the scammer their personal information.

The best way for a consumer to protect themselves during the holiday season (or any other time) is to avoid giving their personal information to anyone they do not know.

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