ALERT: Avoiding fraud during the Holidays
Published on Nov 20, 2023
Holiday scams are increasing year after year. In 2022, Americans lost over $10.3 Billion to fraudsters, including $281,770,073 in online shopping and non-delivery scams, according to the FBI.1
With the holidays coming up, we'd like to take this opportunity to raise your awareness of the increased threat of holiday related thefts and scams. Here are a few basic actions you can take to mitigate the risk for you and yours:
- Stealing delivered packages is more common during the holidays. Bring deliveries indoors to avoid theft or giving the impression that you're out of town.
- Avoid oversharing on social media. If your leaving town for the holidays, be sure your posts about your current whereabouts are not public.
- There is an increase in phishing scams around the holidays to include messages as regarding shipping address change requests or missed delivery notification texts, online holiday greeting card messages, and deals that are, "too good to be true". Don’t open suspicious emails or links.
- Protect your personal information (PII). Fraudsters have been known to setup fake holiday websites which ask you to complete a survey to win free gifts.
- Purchase gift cards from reputable retailers. If purchasing online, check the store’s URL to see if it’s secure. Never pay an activation fee for a gift card.
- Purchase airline tickets directly from the airline or reputable third-party sellers.
The Holiday Season has risks associated with travel. By following a few simple tips, you can help ensure that your holiday travels are safe and enjoyable.2
- Don’t carry anything in your purse or wallet that is not absolutely necessary. Leave Social Security cards and checkbooks at home.
- Minimize the amount of credit cards you carry.
- Stop delivery of mail and/or newspapers while out of town.
- Notify a neighbor of your travel plans.
- Never leave personal documents unsecured in vehicles or hotel rooms.
- Beware of pickpockets, especially when traveling internationally.
- Take caution with public computers and Wi-Fi. Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi services.
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday season!