Avoiding Fraud This Christmas
Christmas is a lot of people’s favourite time of the year! And it makes sense: it is a time for celebration, seeing loved ones, and let’s face it… spending a shed load of money. Unfortunately, this makes it a prime time for crooks and scammers to take advantage of people. There are different types of holiday fraud that take place during the Christmas season that you should watch out for.
Identity theft is massive in the UK. In 2015 the rate of identity theft rose by a massive 57%, so this is something to seriously watch out for. Anyone who shops online is at risk of having their identity stolen. Waking up to find out that your credit card was used to buy an expensive gadget from an online retailer, without your authorisation, is not what you need a couple of days before Christmas.
Usually, there is a huge bump in the number of fraud incidences that occur during the holidays. This is generally because everyone is in a mood of spending and rushing and many merchants and consumers are not heavily on the lookout for scams, so they are easy to take advantage of.
Cards are now chipped with something call an EMV which make it extremely difficult to copy and replicate the data on the chip. This has led to most of the scamming being taken online.
Most people do not even know they have been defrauded until they are called by their financial institutions, thus fraudsters have a lot of time to get away with it.
Click here to find out how you can avoid card fraud!
Fake websites and phishing
Phishing is another method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords, by sending bogus communications like emails, letters, or texts.
Phishing messages generally try to convince the recipient that they are from a trusted source. Because of the time of year, fraudsters take advantage of the rush to buy Christmas gifts by pretending to represent high street retailers. By including links in emails claiming to offer a festive discount or deal, victims are lured to fake websites where they're persuaded to enter personal information, login credentials or banking details that are made by fraudsters to commit fraud crimes such as identity theft and bank fraud.
You may also run the risk of your computer or smartphone being infected by viruses if you download attachments – so don’t click on anything you do not 100% trust.
More and more people every year are willing to buy counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods range from clothes, bags, watches, perfume, cosmetics, and electrical items as well as pirate DVDs, CDs, computer software and games.
Counterfeit electrical goods are not put through the same vigorous safety checks and fake cosmetics and fragrances have been found to contain toxic levels of chemicals and unpleasant substances, not to mention they are obviously poor quality. Just ask yourself is it worth it?
We hope you have a very merry Christmas this year, but make sure to watch out for those pesky scammers!