It’s the Holiday Season for the bad guys too! But not the way you might think. They go into scam-overdrive mode, and starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the busiest online shopping days), they are out to get rich with your money until the holidays are over. Bryant Bradburd, City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer, passes on this advice:
- At the moment, there are too-good-to-be-true coupons that offer free phones or tablets on sites all over the Internet. Don’t fall for it. Make sure the offers are from a legitimate company.
- Watch out for alerts via email or text that you just received a package from FedEx, UPS or the US Mail, and then asks you for some personal information. Don’t open any attachments and don’t enter anything. Think Before You Click!
- There is a fake refund scam going on that could come from Amazon, a hotel, or a retail chain. It claims there was a “wrong transaction” and wants you to “click for refund” but instead, your device will be infected with malware. Again, don’t open any attachments and don’t enter anything.
So, especially now, be constantly alert and willing to fight back by using common sense. Remember to only use credit cards online, never debit cards. Be super-wary of bulk email with crazy good BUY NOW offers and anything that looks slightly “off.”
If you think you might have been scammed, stay calm and call your credit card company, have that card disabled and get a new one. Happy Holidays!