4 Scams to Avoid This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer — and scams targeting holiday shoppers. Stay on guard with these scam-busting tips.
It’s been a stressful year, and many of us are longing for the simple joys of the holidays. Unfortunately, this is also the time when scammers try to take advantage of shoppers during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season — and this year is no different. Keep your guard up so you don’t fall victim to these holiday scams.
1. Package delivery scams.
With so many packages being delivered, there’s an opportunity for scammers to attempt to steal your information. Phishing emails disguised as notifications from UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service may suggest that you have an incoming or missed delivery. These messages may encourage you to click on links infected with malware or provide your personal information.
- Watch out for look-alike websites or misspellings such as “fedx.com.”
- Be wary of messages claiming you missed a delivery and must update your account information.
- Don’t respond to urgent or threatening messages requesting money in return for delivering a package.
2. Travel scams.
People are traveling less due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t stop the scams from pouring in. A tropical getaway sounds enticing in the middle of winter, especially when you’ve been cooped up for a long time. Unfortunately, something that sounds like a dream vacation could end up being a financial nightmare.
- Be skeptical of “free” trip offers.
- Know what’s included in a package deal.
- Do your own travel research.
3. Phony prizes and sweepstakes.
Another common scam starts with a robocall or popup add congratulating you for winning an incredible prize. All you have to do is click or call to claim your prize. These scams can be tempting during the holidays, especially if the prize they claim you’ve “won” happens to be a big-ticket item on your wish list. Unfortunately, this is most likely an attempt to steal your personal or financial information.
- Don’t click on popup ads or respond to robocalls claiming you’ve won a prize.
- Don’t hand over any financial information or numbers.
- Be especially wary about foreign sweepstakes companies.
4. Charity scams.
The holiday season is meant for giving, but be sure to check out charitable organization before giving money to ensure your donations go to a good cause. For help, use the services of an organization such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator or CharityWatch.
- Do some research online to find out if the organization is legitimate.
- Beware of sound-alike charities.
- Be wary of an organization that asks you to wire money or pay in gift cards.
At Amegy Bank, we strive to protect your finances from fraud, but often it’s your own precautions that can be the most powerful. Visit our Security Center for more fraud prevention tools and check out these online shopping tips for the holidays.