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Holiday safety: Essential tips to safeguard yourself from these 10 online scams

Stay vigilant during the holiday season, follow these tips to avoid scams, and prioritise your online safety.

Vishal Upadhyay Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: December 22, 2023 16:53 IST
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As the holiday season approaches, the risk of falling victim to scams is on the rise. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the increased use of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and the festive shopping spree to exploit weak security systems. A software firm, Check Point has provided a list of ten common holiday scams and tips on how to avoid them.  

10 Common Holiday Scams to Avoid This Season 

From deceptive social media ads to fake charities and job scams, here's what you need to watch out for and how to stay safe:

  1. Deceptive Social Media Ads: Beware of ads leading to fraudulent online stores. Research the store's legitimacy, be cautious of too-good-to-be-true deals, install security software, and monitor financial statements.
  2. Delivery Scams: Fake messages claiming a delay in shipping or demanding a payment fee for delivery can be scams. Verify message sources, visit the official delivery service website, and contact the delivery company directly if in doubt.
  3. Fake Charities: Scammers create fake charities to steal personal information or profit. Verify a charity's legitimacy through its website and confirm crowdfunding campaign details.
  4. Fraudulent Offers on Tickets or Scarce Items: Scams prey on holiday travel and sought-after products. Research sellers, be cautious of unrealistic deals, ensure a secure connection (HTTPS), read terms carefully and trust your instincts.
  5. Phishing Scams:  Watch out for phishing emails mimicking reputable brands. Review sender information, be sceptical of unsolicited communications, avoid suspicious links, and verify promotions on official company websites.
  6. Job Scams: Scammers exploit job seekers with promises of substantial earnings. Verify job legitimacy, check for realistic compensation structures, and avoid jobs requiring payment for supplies or training.
  7. 'Grandparent Scams': Senior citizens may be targeted with distress calls from fake grandchildren requesting money. Warn seniors about this scam, question urgent requests, and verify with other family members.
  8. Hacking Over Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks, especially in airports and hotels, can be hacked. Avoid shopping online on public Wi-Fi, use secured networks, and consider a VPN for added security.
  9. Connected IoT (Internet of Things) and Mobile Entertainment Risks: Be cautious with mobile games and IoT devices, as cybercriminals can exploit them. Research apps before downloading, review permissions, secure IoT devices with strong passwords and updates, and educate children about online threats.
  10. Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams: Fraudsters impersonate company executives, attempting to deceive individuals into paying fake invoices. Check for red flags, confirm requests with executives through verified channels, and report suspected BEC scams.

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