The holiday season is when most of us check out as we aim to enjoy our fun in the sun, but this is the time where scammers work their hardest.
Not only have scammers become smatter, but they aim to catch people over the festive season when their guards are down. These are some of the scams to keep your eyes out for this festive season.
Social media scams
You receive a mysterious link from one of your followers or a friend to check out a link that will help you grow your funds, support their business or a request to send them money as they have forgotten their wallet. Most of the time these links are created by hackers to access your personal information or your account to trick friends and loved ones into sharing details or finances to assist you in your "financial jam".
Always be careful about what links you click on. If it looks suspicious, it usually is. Always remember that an official company will not send you a message requesting you to send your details such as your I.D number, banking details and passwords to accounts.
Holiday package scams
Going away on holiday is something that most people will be planning to do over the holidays. It is also an opportune time to find affordable packages that can cater to your friends or family's needs. However, be aware not to fall into the scam of a holiday that sounds too good to be true. Fraudsters often pose as reputable service providers, offering affordable holiday accommodation with pictures to back it up.
In most cases you will be pressed to make a 50% deposit to secure your place before they are fully booked up for this holiday special, but once you’ve paid the deposit, they disappear. Therefore, it is crucial to always do your research online through the company website, calling to check if the package exists and online reviews to avoid being scammed.
With great convenience comes great responsibility. While the 'tap and go' function on some bank cards have made it convenient to pay for services without having to touch a point-of-sale device, it has also made it convenient for scammers to take advantage of when people are not paying attention. Always make sure that your card never leaves your sight when paying for a service.
Make sure that your card is placed safely in your wallet instead of your pockets where it is easy for scammers to tap your card with a point-of-sale device of their own. It is crucial to contact or notify your bank of any suspicious or unauthorised transactions so you can block your card and have it replaced.
Similar to ATM scams, you mustn't let anyone assist you with your banking app. Being distracted momentarily can create a window for scammers to access your funds, even with a banking app. Always make sure that you have your phone placed in a secure place where you can keep an eye on it. When doing any transactions on your phone, make sure that you protect your screen from being seen by others.
Scammers could be tracking your movements in public places like malls where it is easy for you to get distracted and watch you tap out passwords on your phone, making it easier for them to steal your device and make transactions on your app later. Always remain vigilant.