Hackernoon logoHow Fraudsters Carry out Holiday Themed Scams to Steal Your Identity by@emily-daniel

How Fraudsters Carry out Holiday Themed Scams to Steal Your Identity

Emily Daniel Hacker Noon profile picture

@emily-danielEmily Daniel

Emily is a tech writer, with expertise in entrepreneurship, & innovative technology algorithms.

Where the holiday season brings a lot of blessings, it also opens new doors for identity theft criminals to get the better of online users. Beware of pesky scammers trying to fool you into naughty scams. According to research conducted by Adobe Analytics, a massive sum of 189 billion US dollars are spent between the Black Friday event and Christmas holidays. 

From taking over famous platforms like Macy’s to creating malicious mobile apps for Amazon, Walmart, and many more, fraudsters tend to steal more than to give. Some of the most common scams prevalent during the holiday season are listed below:

The Famous Phishing Attacks

Online scammers become more active during the holiday season with new and improved techniques to carry out phishing scams.

Watch out for a fake personalized letter from Santa or false confirmation messages for your Christmas delivery.

Verizon, in its report, shows phishing attacks comprise almost 22% of data breaches around the globe.    

Whenever you receive an email wrapped in presents and jingle bells, requesting your personal information, do not proceed unless you have verified the sender and their details. Authentic platforms never ask for credit card pins and identity information through emails or text messages, because there exists a risk of them being compromised. When you encounter such a request next time, just don’t pay attention.  

Fake Charity Fraud

During this time of the year, fraudsters bank on the goodwill of people. By asking for a donation in a charity that doesn’t even exist, they fool people into losing all their money.

Providing sensitive identity information to someone you do not trust may end up in a big loss, especially during the holidays.

Contacting the charity on your own is better than opening an email with a suspicious link to a website. Before contributing to a good cause, make sure your money is in safe hands and spent in the right way. 

Present Plunders

A FedEx truck will be delivering the Christmas gift which you ordered last week. But, did you remember to ask the courier to contact you before dropping off the items? If you haven’t, it might get stolen right from the doorstep, since package theft is widespread during holiday times. Almost 23 million Americans fall prey to these present plunders each year, according to Cision. 

When ordering something expensive, asking the service provider for a signature upon delivery is a good bet.

Tracking your order also helps in making sure when it is going to be delivered, so you can pick it up before someone else gets their hands on it. In case of sending a gift to a loved one, ask the vendor to place it in a locker or mailbox instead of dropping it off at the recipient’s house.  

Imitation Websites

During holidays, you might get lucky enough to win a lottery or an expensive gift at a very cheap price from a website. Websites displaying pop-ups and ads without your consent are not always safe to browse. Giving away goods for no cost at all doesn't make sense, right? These websites are purpose-built for conducting scams and stealing credit from your wallets.

Never click on an ad link to place your order since it will take you to a payments page which is not safe for entering bank details and performing transactions. 

Fraudsters will instantly drain your bank account, so make sure to confirm the authenticity of websites before submitting personal details. A good practice is to check for “https” on the website URL, and for possible misspellings in the name of the platform if it's a copy of an authentic company like Amazon, etc.     

Gift Card Scams

Dubious fraudsters get a good bang for their buck by banking on holiday season scams. One such practice is sending expired gift cards that are empty. By tricking people into buying fake gift cards, these criminals make a good sum out of fraudulent purchases. Before buying such items, make sure to inspect the activation code and other details properly. 

To sum it up, scammers and fraudsters become active during the holiday season to carry out different types of fraud including, fake gift cards, defunct charities, phishing attacks, and imposter websites. 

ID Verification has a Solution

With identity verification, illicit identities could be effectively taken down. Online businesses can use the services of an online identity verification vendor to protect their customers from holiday season scams.

These solutions incorporate AI-powered facial biometric technology and document verification to keep pesky fraudsters from ruining your holidays.

It not only helps enterprises reduce chargeback fraud but also delivers a seamless experience to their customers by keeping online security intact.

Emily Daniel Hacker Noon profile picture
by Emily Daniel @emily-daniel. Emily is a tech writer, with expertise in entrepreneurship, & innovative technology algorithms.Read my stories

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