As the holiday season approaches, (beginning a few weeks ago back with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday), millions of people will engage in online shopping to find gifts for their loved ones. Along with the anticipation and excitement of the holidays, however, comes an increase in scammers trying to deceive people into giving away their money and personal information. With the latest information and insight into online holiday shopping, you can arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to identify and avoid these deceptive tricks.
Recent findings reveal that the average loss to victims of shopping scams during the holiday season was a staggering $1,500, resulting in a decline of consumer confidence in the ability to shop online safely from 89% to 72%.
To no surprise, many Americans (56%) are concerned about becoming a victim of cyber crimes this holiday season. With online shopping scams, phishing scams, delivery notification scams, and gift card scams being the most common, it is crucial to stay informed and vigilant in order to enjoy a secure holiday shopping experience.
- Be aware of common holiday scams including online shopping, phishing, delivery notifications, and gift card scams.
- Consumer confidence in online shopping has dropped, emphasizing the need for vigilance and secure practices.
- Educate yourself and stay informed to protect against cyber threats and potential holiday scams.
10 Holiday Scams to Be Cautious of in 2023
1. Online Shopping Scams
2. Phishing Scams
3. Bogus Delivery Scams
4. Gift Card Scams
5. Overpayment Scams
6. Charity Scams
7. Travel-Related Booking Scams
8. Fake Gift Exchanges
9. Temporary Holiday Job Scams
10. Imposter Scams
How to Stay Secure this Holiday Season
As you prepare for the festivities, it’s essential to remember that security is equally important. During the holiday season, scammers are on the lookout for susceptible individuals. Follow these tips to ensure your cyber safety:
- Be cautious with promotional emails: Cybercriminals often use holiday-themed spam emails to spread malware. To avoid falling victim, always verify the sender’s address, be cautious of unsolicited emails, and refrain from clicking on unknown links or attachments.
- Use strong and unique passwords: Holiday shopping often requires numerous accounts. Make sure to create strong, unique passwords for each one, and consider using a password manager.
- Keep software up-to-date: Regularly update your computer and devices’ operating systems, antivirus software, and web browsers. These updates often contain essential security patches.
- Be mindful of public Wi-Fi: Using public Wi-Fi networks can expose your data to hackers. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your connection if you must use public Wi-Fi.
- Secure your online transactions: When making online purchases, ensure the website uses secure socket layer (SSL) encryption indicated by a padlock icon in the address bar. Also, always use a credit card instead of a debit card for better fraud protection.
By following these simple steps, you can safeguard your information during the holiday season and enjoy stress-free festivities.