For many inhabitants of New Jersey, this is the most delightful time of the year. However, this is also the time of year when scammers attempt to take advantage of you in a variety of ways.
Melissa Companick, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau of New Jersey, asserts that dishonest people are attempting to gain access to your financial assets and personal information using deceptive means.
She stated that one of the most prevalent Christmas scams involves social media ads, in which you’ll be reading through a platform, finding an item for sale at what appears to be a fantastic bargain, clicking on it, completing your order, and one of two things could occur.
Your Funds Are Gone
“They will take your money, you will never receive your stuff, or you may receive something entirely different from what you ordered. “I received a report from someone who believed they were ordering furniture online but instead received a plastic toy,” she stated.
She stated that occasionally the company will offer you 20% back if you return the item back to China.
Be watchful for questionable behavior
Companick added that you should be wary of SMS or emails purporting to notify you about hacked accounts.
She said that these messages appear to originate from well-known companies such as Amazon and Netflix, or from a big bank informing you of suspicious activity and requesting that you click a link to verify your account.
“You should exercise extreme caution when clicking on unwanted pop-up messages,” she said.
She stated that another common Christmas scam involves crooks building websites that appear to be extremely real, advertising a game or popular item for a considerably lower price than anybody else, and once you place your purchase, you do not receive the item you were promised.
Check Before Clicking
“You should conduct your research on a real website, check with the Better Business Bureau, and see what sort of complaints, if any, and what type of reviews we have,” she advised.
She stated that everyone is in a hurry over the holidays, but “you want to protect your information if someone asks you for your banking information or any other sensitive information.”
The Whole 12 Christmas Scams List
Misleading social media advertisements: As you navigate through your social media feed, you frequently encounter advertisements for small company products. Occasionally, a firm will claim to support a charity or give a free trial in an attempt to gain your business.
BBB Scam Tracker collects reports of consumers paying for things they do not receive, being charged monthly for a free trial they did not sign up for, or obtaining a product that is counterfeit or substantially different from what was described. Learn more about false advertising. free trial offers and fake products.
This practice resurfaces every holiday season, and this year is no exception. A modern variation of this fraud involves the exchange of wine bottles, while another involves the purchase of $10 gifts online.
Another variation requires you to submit your email address to a list where participants can select a name and “pay it forward” by sending money to strangers. Even “Secret Santa Dog” has a twist: you must purchase a $10 gift for your “secret dog.”
In all variations, participants unintentionally provide their personal information, as well as the information of their relatives and friends, and are then duped into purchasing and sending presents or money to unknown individuals. Furthermore, it is an illegal pyramid scheme.
Apple’s App Store and Google Play include dozens of holiday-themed apps where children may video chat with Santa, light the menorah, see Santa feed live reindeer, monitor his sleigh on Christmas Eve, and send their holiday wishes.
This holiday season, apps may play a larger role than ever before, similar to the past two years when COVID-19 forced youngsters to forego the customary in-person visit with Santa. Examine the privacy policies to see what data will be gathered.
Be aware of free applications, as they may contain more advertisements than paid applications. Malware can even be present in free apps.
BBB has received reports on Scam Tracker concerning a fraud stating that your Amazon, PayPal, Netflix, or bank account has been compromised. The victims receive an email, phone call, or text message informing them of suspicious behavior on one of their accounts and urging them to take quick action to avoid account penetration. Be especially wary about unsolicited phone calls, emails, and messages.
Free gift cards: Nothing spreads joy like the word “FREE.” Scammers have been observed to exploit this vulnerability by sending mass phishing emails seeking personal information in exchange for free gift cards.
In some of these emails, fraudsters pose as legitimate businesses, such as Starbucks, and promise gift cards to clients who have supported their firm throughout the pandemic. They may also employ pop-up advertisements or send text messages containing links claiming that you were randomly chosen as the winner of a reward.
If you have received unsolicited emails offering gift cards, you should not open them. Mark it as Spam or Junk instead. However, if you have already opened the email, you should not click any links.
Retailers usually engage seasonal workers to assist in meeting the expectations of holiday customers. Due to the surge in online orders and the requirement to deliver the majority of these products before Christmas, shippers and delivery firms are among the top holiday jobs in 2018.
These occupations are a terrific way to earn extra money, with the potential to lead to long-term work in some cases. However, job seekers must be aware of employment scams designed to take their money and personal information. Keep an eye out for opportunities that appear implausible.
The holiday season brings an abundance of emails advertising deals, specials, and discounts. Be aware of emails containing embedded links.
Some may redirect to imposter websites designed by con artists to deceive users into downloading malware, making useless purchases, and divulging private information.
If you are unsure about the authenticity of the email, do not click any of the links. In lieu of this, mouse over them to determine where they reroute.
During the last few weeks of the year, fake charities often receive 40 percent of all charitable gifts. Donors are warned to be wary of bogus charities and con artists posing as folks in need. Avoid spontaneous contribution decisions to unfamiliar organizations.
Tomorrow, charitable groups will embrace donations just as much as they do today. Check a charity at Give.org or the Canada Revenue Agency website. Donate to the charity via their website and with a credit card wherever possible.
There is an increase in the number of alerts about shipment details from retailers and carriers as more consumers make online purchases and as the number of bogus shipping, notifications rises.
This new spike is being exploited by con artists to send phishing emails including links that may provide unauthorized access to your sensitive information or download malware onto your device. They may also attempt to deceive individuals into paying new shipping costs.
This year, a large number of local in-person events, such as pop-up holiday markets and artisan fairs, have shifted online. Scammers are generating bogus event pages, social media posts, and emails, charging entrance to events that were previously free.
The objective is to steal credit card data. Confirm with the event’s organizer if there is a charge for entry. Use a credit card in situations where there is a fee. If the event is free, be wary of fraudsters claiming otherwise.
Top products on holiday wish lists: Almost always, low-priced or absurdly-priced luxury goods, jewelry, designer apparel, and electronics are counterfeits and knockoffs. The Galactic Snackin’ Grogu Animatronic (also known as Baby Yoda) and game consoles are in hot demand this year.
Consider with extreme caution the purchase of these expensive things from persons on social networking sites.
Scams involving puppies: This year, many families, particularly those with children, may be considering adding a furry companion to their household.
However, pet scams are on the rise this year and you could fall victim to one. Request to visit the animal in person before purchasing.
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