The Holidays Are Coming… And So Are The Scams

10/25/2022 | by Jeff Fowler


The holiday shopping season is coming up, which means you’re probably spending more time shopping online than at any other time of the year. In today’s post, we’ll go over some of the common scams and give some tips to avoid being scammed this time of the year.

Fake Websites

In the next few months, you’ll see tons of deals, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You’ll likely see ads and promos for sites you aren’t familiar with. When in doubt, just stick with major online sellers, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, or NewEgg. This list goes on and on, but the point is:  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Fake Giveaways

You’ll see these being promoted on social media claiming “Enter for a Free Gift Card” or “Enter to Win a (Insert Big Name Electronic)”. They will typically require a form to be filled out, and that information will be used for social engineering, identity theft, or hacking attempts. Always be vigilant when it comes to giveaways.

Postal Delivery Notifications

You may receive a notice claiming to be from USPS, FedEx, or UPS claiming that a package has just been delivered to your house. Typically, they are in text or email form. They try to get you to confirm your address or login info to view the tracking/shipping information and then harvest the data for their use.

Phishing Emails

Phishing Emails around the holidays can take a few forms. They can be fake Amazon order notifications that try to entice you to click a link and enter in your Amazon account information. Once they get your Amazon info, they may just steal the information within the account to commit identity theft or potentially spend your money to their heart’s content and ship to a forwarder, who they hope will ship the goods to them. Check out our blog post “Don’t Get Phished” for a more thorough explanation of the phishing process and steps you can take.

You may also receive “notifications” that try to appear to come from your credit card company or bank warning you about “suspicious” charges on your account. If you receive one, DO NOT click the link. If you’re paranoid about it, pull up a new browser window and navigate to the website on your own to check your account.

What Can I Do?

There’s not a lot you can do to avoid receiving emails and text messages. Your actions determine whether you may or may not be a victim. For starters, NEVER click a link in an email or text message. If the email claims it’s from your bank, open a new browser window and manually navigate to the site and log in.

If you have any questions, SandStorm IT is always here to help. Feel free to call us at 901-475-0275.

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