Christmas can be a time when people’s guard is down and excitement about finding the perfect gift for that someone special can cloud our judgement.
While we are thinking about serving feeding the whole family on Christmas morning, con artists are thinking about new ways to find scam hardworking people.
Scammers are constantly finding new ways to catch their victims out. And even the best of us can be fooled sometimes.
It’s important to know the tricks the crooks often use when they are trying to take your hard-earned cash away from you.
The best way to keep yourself protected is to make sure you know all about the different scams which are doing the rounds at any one time, so you know exactly what you are looking out for, so make sure you know about these scams that are rife at Christmas time.
These are the 12 frauds of Christmas you should avoid
- Online shopping fraud – Use online traders you trust and always check the delivery and returns policy
- Christmas e-cards – Delete anonymous emails and always use anti-virus protection
- Auction fraud – Always research the seller and don’t ever transfer money direct, send it through the likes of PayPal
- Holiday fraud – Always pay by credit card for further protections and ensure companies are ATOL / ABTA protected before booking a holiday
- Loan and investment scams – Research the seller and never pay advance fees
- Ticketing fraud – Only use requital websites and avoid entering details on shared devices
- Donating to charity – Go directly through the charity’s website and avoid transfer companies
- Mobile malware / malicious apps – Ensure your apps and anti-virus programmes are up to date and only use trusted apps stores, like App Store and Google Play
- Money transfers – Never send a money transfer to someone you don’t know and always wait for cheques to clear before sending another
- Social media scams – Avoid sharing personal information on your social media pages and try not to install add-ons to your internet browser
- Dating / romance scams – Be selective on the information you share and never send money to somebody you do not know
- Mobile payments – Do not save passwords or personal or financial information onto mobile devices and if your device is stolen, remove these details remotely
Tony Neate, chief executive at Get Safe Online, said: “Every year there’s a mad rush as shoppers get online to order presents in time for Christmas, starting with Black Friday.
“Shopping online can be a great convenience for but we also need to stay vigilant and take care with what we’re buying, who we’re buying from as well as how to pay for purchases.
“Sadly, year on year we hear about people thinking they have got the perfect Christmas gift for someone but they end up disappointed because they didn’t recognise the most common scams out there.
“We are urging online shoppers to take a step back and think before they buy – always question if it is too good to be true, do your due diligence to check the authenticity of the site or product and make sure you use secure and protected methods of payment.”