holiday internet scamsHoliday Internet Scams

The holidays are just around the corner and all the joy, happiness, and celebrating will soon be here. Unfortunately, the holiday internet scams are showing up in droves in advance, just waiting for the chance to trick you.

Holiday Scams 2022

Listed below are just a handful of the holiday frauds we have already seen dressing up for the season:

Fraudulent emails and false invoices. These have been around for a while, but as the holidays approach, they are more common than ever. Because it may net scammers large profits, invoice fraud is a common and very effective type of business email hack. It can be relatively simple to con you with a fake email invoice if your company handles hundreds or thousands of invoices each month.

If someone approaches you for personally identifiable information (PII) online, you should be immediately wary. Anything from your phone number and email address to your Social Security number and bank account number falls under this category. The majority of firms instead send invoices as an attached.pdf document rather than via URL.

In light of this, if you receive an email that includes a link to download or view an invoice, it may be a false invoice email. Verify the email message first prior to clicking any links. You should follow up with a frequent vendor separately by emailing or calling them individually to determine whether they have altered their billing procedure if they abruptly request that you click a link to view an invoice online. With new vendors, discuss the payment procedure beforehand so you are aware of what to anticipate when you receive your first invoice.

False Amazon personnel

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers pretending to be from Amazon are involved in one-third of business impersonation fraud complaints. Compared to younger persons, older adults are four times more likely to lose money in these scams and are also impacted harder, losing a median of $1,500 instead of $814. According to Hamerstone, Amazon is the largest and best-known corporation in the [online sales] industry. As a result, consumers “feel real” about impersonator schemes.

How to stay safe: Ignore calls, text messages, emails and social media messages about suspicious account activity, raffles or unauthorized purchases. If you think you may have a real account problem, contact Amazon customer support at 888-280-4331

ATM payments with cryptocurrencies

The most recent payment option for con artists is those ATMs that are appearing in convenience stores, petrol stations, and large businesses. They instruct you to send cryptocurrency purchased at these ATMs to an anonymous digital wallet in order to pay a reported fee, bill, or handling charge by posing as government authorities, utility agents, or sweepstakes representatives. “It cannot be undone. According to Lisa Cialino, an attorney with the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, there is no way to get your money back.

How to stay safe: According to the FTC, “nobody from the government, law enforcement, a utility company or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time.

‘Favor For A Friend Gift Cards’

Your friend sends you an email asking for a quick favor. She can’t purchase the gift card she needs to buy a birthday present since she is having issues with a credit card or store account. Will you purchase the card and give her the numbers on the back when you call? She will repay you. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) cautions that this favor is actually a fraud because it is nearly always an impostor who makes the request. Gift cards don’t have the same security features as debit and credit cards, so if you follow instructions, you won’t ever see the money again.

How to stay protected: To be sure the recipient truly needs the favor, call or text your pal. In 2021, the most popular credit cards used by con artists were Target, Google Play, Apple, eBay, and Walmart. The BBB says, “Always double verify before paying money to someone.”

P2P Payment Requests

Scammers are requesting payment using money-transfer apps like Venmo, Zelle, and Cash App more frequently. You may pay instantly from your phone or computer, which is extremely convenient. However, these payments typically cannot be stopped.

How to stay protected: P2P apps should only be used to send money to friends and family. And activate the security lock option that requires a passcode to complete a transaction.

Fake Charity Scams

Today, charities and fundraisers (groups that raise money on behalf of organizations) request donations over the phone, in person, by email, online (including social networking and crowd funding sites), and via mobile devices.

Scammers would naturally want to take advantage of any chance to prey on your generosity and enthusiasm to support a cause, as is the case with any new technology.

No matter how you are contacted, avoid any charity or fundraiser that won’t give you specific information about who they are, what they do, how much it will cost, and how your donation will be put to use. Please spend some time becoming familiar with the warning signs of typical charity

Charity Frauds List 2022

Just a few, because the list is just too long.

  • Kids Wish Network.
  • Cancer Fund of America.
  • Children’s Wish Foundation International.
  • American Breast Cancer Foundation.
  • Firefighters Charitable Foundation.
  • Breast Cancer Relief Foundation.
  • International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO.
  • National Veterans Service Fund.

Charity Frauds Examples

Warning Signs of a Charity Scam:

  • Will not offer documentation confirming a donation is tax deductible.
  • uses a name that is quite similar to one of a more reputable, well-known company.
  • Thank you for making a commitment you don’t recall making.
  • uses high-pressure techniques to persuade you to donate right away without giving you a chance to consider it or do your research.
  • requests financial donations or payment by wire transfer.
  • Provides a courier or overnight delivery service to pick up the donation right away.
  • guarantees victories from sweepstakes in exchange for a donation. By law, entering a sweepstakes does not require you to make a donation.

Jeff Bosset is a provider of online computer help to people all over the U.S. He has 25 years experience in the tech field.