It's the holiday season and scam artist are busier than ever. Here are a few popular scams to look out for while you celebrate the season.
THE ORDER CONFIRMATION SCAM: Online scam artists are using fake order confirmation emails to hack into consumers personal information. These emails appear to be from legitimate companies like UPS and FedEx, but are completely fake. The goal is to get consumers to click on any link within the email, which enables their computer to be hacked. The best way to verify any online order or delivery confirmation is to contact the company responsible for shipping ordered merchandise for tracking data and confirming delivery status through the carriers website.
CHECK CASHING SCAM (APP EDITION): This scam is fairly common, but always evolving. While we've repeatedly reported cases of scammers offering incentives for depositing checks or money orders, they've begun to add fake apps to this scam. They offer incentives for using their fake app to deposit funds into personal accounts, but are really just stealing data. Remember, if someone is asking you to deposit money for them or are requesting your banking information; it is more than likely a scam.
THE SECRET SHOPPER SCAM: For years consumers have been aware of legitimate programs which pays consumers to secretly shop at certain businesses while evaluating service levels. During the holiday season scam artist use these offers as a front to steal banking information. This scam works by sending fake checks to consumers, which are to be deposited and then used at particular stores like Walgreen's or CVS to purchase money cards. The mailer only request that a portion of the check be used to purchase the money card and the remaining balance is used as an incentive. They also request all the information from the money card to be sent to them via email. At the end of this scams victims are not only out of an incentive, they are responsible for the entire amount of the fake check. Keep an eye out for this scam.
Take advantage of great savings opportunities when they come, because they probably wont last long.
This Christmas season you may find yourself with a little more money in the bank because of lower home energy costs and overall fuel price reductions, but don't expect these cost to decrease for much longer. Based on several estimates, these conditions won't be around after the first quarter of 2015. So take advantage of this windfall of reductions by saving a little more and resisting the urge to splurge too much this holiday season.