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Holiday Scams

Holiday Scams


Most of us see the holiday season as an opportunity to spend time with family, exchange gifts, and celebrate the hope of the new year. As is the case in many aspects of life many see this time of year as an opportunity enrich themselves by stealing from others.

Even though we are celebrating we must keep our guard up to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim. Each year thousands of people become victims of holiday scams. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2020 report holiday scams cost people more than $394 million.

One of the most common scams is the non-delivery scam. Simply stated, a buyer pays for goods or services that are never delivered. This can also include misrepresentation of items as well.

There are ways you can protect yourself…

  • Check each websites URL or address to make sure it is legitimate and secure. You can confirm a site is secure by confirming the web address starts with https versus just http. In this case the “s” stands for secure.
  • Even if the site has an https address be sure the lock symbol is showing in your browser to indicate that the site is secured by a trusted security entity.
  • Check reviews if you are purchasing from a site for the first time.
  • Be wary of sellers who post an auction or advertisement as they reside in the United States, then respond to questions by stating they are out of the country on business, family emergency, or similar reasons.
  • Never wire money directly to a seller.
  • Do not pay with prepaid gift cards. The thief will request that you send your card number and PIN and then steal the funds.
  • Use a credit card and check your statements regularly for suspicious transactions.

Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it likely is too good to be true.