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Holiday Scams

While the majority of us want to give more than usual during the holiday season, crooks want to get more and become more active and more creative this time of year. Following are some tips and links to other trusted sources that can help you avoid falling for a scam any time of year, but especially now.

Risk Prevention Tips

  • Secure home computers and mobile devices: Members should ensure their home computers are secured with a firewall and antivirus software before performing any online transactions. Operating system patches should be downloaded when made available by software vendors. Members should also protect mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) used to conduct online transactions by installing antivirus software.
  • Phishing scams: Members should not respond to emails, text messages, and phone calls that advertise the sale of gift cards, holiday gifts, promotions, contests and jobs.
  • Be wary of holiday offers for free items: Members should avoid tempting holiday offers, such as free downloadable applications for smartphones, antivirus software, screen savers, ring-tones and electronic greeting cards, which may be infected with viruses and/or malware.
  • Be wary of shopping online at Craigslist and public auction sites: Members might purchase merchandise that is never delivered. Members should follow the best practices published by Craigslist and other public auction websites to avoid scams.
  • Be wary of social media scams: Fraudsters often place bogus advertisements for free prizes on social media sites. Members should be instructed to not respond to these advertisements.

Useful Links

McAfee’s Avoid the 12 Scams of the Holidays:

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Online Security Tips

Federal Trade Commission Charity Checklist