As shoppers begin to start searching for the perfect gifts for the holiday season, some of the shopping will be done in stores, but a vast majority of it will be done online. The internet offers a lot of opportunities; however, it can also offer its fair share of dangers. Criminals love the internet because it makes scamming so much easier.
There are all sorts of scams that con-artists can run online, and there is always an increase during the holiday season as more people become active online.
A general rule of thumb for staying safe and secure online, is to never open links sent to you in emails.
The link could lead you to a malicious website with the intent of stealing personal information from your computer while posing as a prominent website. If you feel you need to follow a link in an email, try to get to the intended destination without clicking the link. Go to the website manually to ensure you make it to the right site.
Be wary of people who are asking for, or even demanding, money online. If they want the money sent in prepaid gift cards or wireless transfers, it is likely a scam. This is true even if it the person claims to be a relative who was recently arrested. Do your research with the family and make sure that the supposed family member was actually arrested, otherwise it could be a scammer posing as a loved one.
Lastly, keep a watchful eye on bank accounts and credit card statements. This way, you will be able to notice any strange purchases in case your information was stolen by a thief. Once you see the discrepancy, you will be able to put a stop to it before it gets too out of hand.
You’ve worked hard all year to earn the money that you have, make sure you work hard at keeping it where it belongs. Don’t let scammers get their hands on your money and ruin your holiday season.