Cybersecurity

Common Scams to Avoid This Holiday Season

Common Scams to Avoid This Holiday Season

Cybersecurity

During the holiday season, it isn’t just the retailers who want your money. Scammers are looking to hack into your accounts to steal your cash or identity. Here are some common scams you should be aware of this holiday season:

Sham Order Confirmations: Victims receive an email that appears to be from a reputable retailer or a payment service like PayPal confirming a purchase. The scammers want you to react to the email by clicking on a link to dispute or cancel the order. If you receive an email like this and are concerned someone has gained access to your account, don’t click any links in the email. Instead, go directly to the retailer’s website, log into your account and check for any fraudulent activity.

Fake Shipping Notices: Victims receive an email purportedly from FedEx, UPS or the Post Office that notify recipients of a delayed shipment. The scammers want you to react to the email by clicking on a link to track the package which will then download a virus onto your computer. If you are expecting a package, visit the retailer’s website to receive tracking information, rather than clicking a link in an email. Be aware that there is an offline version of this scam where you may find an official-looking notice in your mailbox and you are asked to call a number to provide your credit card number or other personal information. Remember – anyone asking for that type of personal information is a red flag.

Email Scams: Be on the lookout for phishing emails. There are emails that are directing people to download apps on their phones that appear to be legitimate but they are collecting data from unsuspecting users. The best defense against phishing emails is to never click on links in an email.

Cloned Websites: It’s easy for scammers to clone websites to make you think you are on a trusted website. Sometimes the cloned websites ask you to log in and then redirect you to the real website so they can steal your log in credentials and make unauthorized purchases in the future. Always type in the retailers website in your browser versus clicking on a link.

Stealing Packages: Not all holiday scams happen online. Criminals still like to steal packages from front doors. If you aren’t home when packages are going to be delivered, consider having them delivered to your workplace or picking them up from the local UPS, FedEx, USPS stores.

Fake Charities: Be on the lookout for fake charities and fake GoFundMe pages. Don’t make phone donations to unsolicited callers.

Intercepted Data: Do not use public Wi-Fi networks to do your online holiday shopping because hackers can intercept data over public networks.

People tend to not pay close attention to their accounts and statements during the holiday season so a best practice is to keep a close eye on your accounts and immediately report any suspicious charges.

Important Disclosure Information: The information contained within this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Schultz Financial Group Incorporated), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Schultz Financial Group Incorporated. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Schultz Financial Group Incorporated is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Schultz Financial Group Incorporated’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Schultz Financial Group Incorporated does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Schultz Financial Group Incorporated’s web site or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

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