CHRISTMAS: 12 CHRISTMAS SCAMS

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  1. DELIVERY/SHIPPING NOTIFICATIONS
    These are Phishing scams where the scammer is looking for you to give personal information, maybe even credit card numbers or bank account numbers. Unless you ordered something and ordered from the deliverer, this is a scam. Usually when you purchase on line, most retailers/sellers confirm the transaction with an electronic receipt almost immediately.
  2. DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING
    If it looks too good to be true, it is! Know your prices and watch out for ‘low balling’ incredibly low priced deals.
  3. UNWANTED CHARGES
    Keep an eye on your credit card invoices to catch any unwanted charges or charges which you did not incur. Balance your statement as soon as you can after receiving it, to confirm all the recorded purchases are legitimate, made by you or your spouse, and authentic. Discrepancies should be dealt with immediately.
  4. PROTECT YOUR PIN at time of purchase or at an ATM
    Be wary about people standing nearby when you are entering a PIN number. Also, with smartphones being used everywhere, be careful that the person nearby, seemingly making a phone call, isn’t video recording you as you enter your PIN number. They may not be using the camera viewfinder even though they are video recording you in transaction.
  5. E CARDS, BOGUS GIFT CARDS
    A new scam is sending you an electronic credit card. Again this could be phishing or if you download the card, you could be downloading malware, a kind of virus which infects your computer. Just delete the Ecard notification unless you specifically ordered it yourself.
  6. CHARITIES & DONATIONS
    This is the season for fund raising. Be aware of who is asking you for a donation. Unless you know the organization/institution, unless it is a major and well known, pass on being a donor. Give where you know to whom you are giving, your church, your synagogue, your club affiliation.

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  7. MALICIOUS MOBILE APPS
    Be wary of your online sources for apps. Bogus developers are willing to send you apps which may be disguised malware which will disrupt your computer’ operating system.
  8. HOLIDAY TRAVEL SCAMS
    Holiday travel deals sometimes offer deals which are too hard to believe. Don’t believe them and don’t connect with the online address for the deal either, likely another means of phishing.
  9. ROBOCALLS
    Be wary when you get a ‘robocall’ which tells you that your computer may be infected. Just hang up if you have doubts. Good anti-virus software will help protect your computer; a robocaller will not.
  10. BAD USB DRIVES
    Free thumb drives, USB drives or exceedingly low priced ones may be malware infected devices which when connected to your computer can do all kinds of malicious destruction. Buy computer hardware like USB drives from well known retailers.
  11. SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS
    If you use Facebook or Twitter, be aware that criminals will try to obtain personal information from you. They aren’t “friends,” so if they offer you a ‘friendly’ deal, skip it.
  12. HOLIDAY GIFT SCAMS
    Cybercrooks will take advantage of new fads, new fashions, and new gadgets that are in fashion and popular at the moment. They will offer you a deal at a site where you need to give up personal information. Pass on the deal…it’s a scam.

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