Christmas Scams: ’Tis the Season to Be Wary

Christmas Scams: ’Tis the Season to Be Wary

The holiday season is upon us, and with it, many nice things and many of those that are not so nice. However, because we know that there will always be those who will fall on Santa’s naughty list, we need to be wary of Christmas scams that will be present this year.

These can range from completely obvious to masterful but usually fall into these categories:

  1. Gift scams
  2. Charity scams
  3. Sales scams
  4. Romance scams
  5. Shipping charge scams
  6. Employment scams
  7. Travel scams
  8. Gambling scams

Each of these can be different, and there are two reasons you might be targeted. Either you are visible online, or someone found a snippet of your personal information you have left somewhere. Also, there are the wide net ones, but those are not as dangerous.

Thankfully, with premium VPN providers such as Le VPN and the know-how about these scams, you can protect yourself and your devices with relative ease.

Why Are Scams More Common on Christmas?

Christmas Scams: ’Tis the Season to Be Wary. | Le VPN

It is the end of the year, many people get their Christmas bonuses, and everyone is a bit more relaxed. This is when we accept many things in the spirit of the season and are thus more open to different deals, some of which can be very bad for us.

And this is how we get scammed. This doesn’t only deprive us of gifting people we love and helping those in real need but also can diminish our faith in our fellow man, which is probably the worst thing that can happen.

Waiting for a Christmas Miracle

All scams work by offering something we desperately need. For many, that is simply money, but some dream about other things, especially in today’s age where people are pressed to find love, affection, and excitement.

This is why aside from playing on our greed, scammers today pray on these emotions, usually offering something we have always dreamed about.

Will you be called to an adventure, receive recognition, or maybe even find love. We trust that we can receive these gifts for Christmas, so we usually fall for scams. Maybe it is better to forge them ourselves than to wait for Santa to visit us?

Most Common Christmas Scams:

These are all broad categories, but if you know how scams and hacks work, you will be more than ready to investigate once you suspect that you might be an attempted victim:

#1 Gift Scams

Very common in this season, usually in the form of gift cards and similar online purchases. It is probably a scam if you see a place selling Amazon gift cards or similar products for half price or as a gift.

And, not only are they after the money you will spend on the card, but they are also after your private information. Your Amazon account is a good way towards your home address and banking information, which is enough for identity theft.

#2 Fake Charities

This might sound sad, but it is very true. Unfortunately, a lot of scams pop up during the holiday season where they speak about feeding the hungry or healing the sick but are actually just ways to collect on people trusting strangers.

If you wish to donate, it might be better to use some of the popular places or help out locally in person. The latter is probably the best way to give some of your blessings to those less fortunate.

#3 Fake Sales and Shipping

You want to buy a gift, and someone is giving a great deal, too good to be true. Well, it is usually a scam. And, not only would they get your hard-earned money, but also your address and banking information.

The rule is, if they don’t have a 3rd party purchase option like PayPal, don’t go near it.

Also, they might ask you to pay extra for expedited shipping, which usually people don’t check and can’t be refunded even if you cancel, which is an almost legal way they get you.

#4 Dating Scams

Regretfully, this is very common, especially on social media. Social media catfishing will lead to spear phishing and the theft of personal information.

Also, the person scamming you might directly ask for money, expecting you to pay for their trip to you or something they need urgently. And what wouldn’t we do for love?

#6 Job Scams

There is a dream job in your field with an amazing salary and bonuses from a new start-up… and it is all working from home. But, they don’t accept workers, only partners, and you need to buy in for that.

Obviously, the company doesn’t even exist, and your money is going to disappear with the connection.

Check who they are, ask for video calls, and if they say no, report them.

#7 Traveling & Gambling Scams

Finally, this is something most people will recognize. You are the big winner; sign up here and leave your information. But, maybe there is a fee you need to pay for processing your millions of dollars?

The modern version is free vacations; you pay the insurance. Unfortunately, many people have missed traveling for the last two years and would be tempted, and scammers know that.

Conclusion

You should buy gifts, you should give alms, and you should be merry. But, you should also be safe and not allow your holiday spirit to fool you.

When on the internet, protect your devices with premium VPN options like Le VPN and keep a cool head; good times will come for those who are persistent, not lucky.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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