‘Tis the season to be wary. The Grinches seem to multiply during the holiday season. Responding to some of these phishes can lead to identity theft or financial loss. You may be susceptible to malware and viruses.
Here are some of the most active scams that you should be aware of.
Open enrollment scams – This is the season to add or change your health coverage for Medicare or the Affordable Care Act. Keep in mind that anyone contacting you and claiming to be an agent of these systems is a crook. There are NO Medicare sales representatives. Don’t give information to anyone that calls you and insists they need this information so that you can keep your coverage.
Holiday Phishing Scams – You may receive emails from FedEx, UPS or major retailers with links or attachments for tracking deliveries. If you are not expecting a package then do not click on these.
Gift Card Scams – Gift cards seem to be the perfect gift for those ‘hard to buy for’ folks. When purchasing a card make sure that the PIN has not been exposed or the packaging otherwise tampered with. Crooks will write down the card number and PIN and then keep checking online to see if it has been activated and rob you of your gift before you can give it away.
Identity Theft and Card Skimmers – Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder or grabbing your wallet as you use automatic machines. Cover the keypad with your hand as you enter in your code. Check the device so that is appears the card reader is original and does not seem to be an added part.
Too Good to be True – If you receive an email, phone call or text message with an offer that seems unbelievable than it probably is.
Fake Charities – Crooks will to take advantage of people’s good nature and generosity by promoting fake charities. Make sure you research and contact your charities of choice before giving.
SMS scams – Text messages requesting information, money or gift card requests are scams. Ignore and delete these messages.