The holiday season may be over, but scammers will not be slowing down anytime soon.
The weeks after the holiday season generally bring an increase in scams that can be difficult to spot. Here are some post-holiday scams that you should be watching out for.
Your social media may be exploding with ads offering deeply discounted prices at your favorite stores. While some of these ads may be legit, lots are scams. Here’s how to spot the fake ads:
- The URL is off by one letter. Check each landing page as you make a purchase.
- The site is not secure. Look for the “s” after the “http.”
- The words “deals” or “discounts” are part of the URL. Authentic retailers rarely create new websites just to sell sale items.
- Look for the seller’s genuine store logo on every landing page.
Be wary when giving to charity this time of year. Don’t donate to any organization without first checking it out on a vetting website like CharityNavigator.com. If you have a favorite cause, contact them yourself instead of clicking on an ad that appears to represent them.
Underpriced gifts for sale
Be suspicious of private sellers offering gift items at crazy-low prices; they are likely to be scams. If a sale item appears legit, proceed with caution. Don’t rely on email communication. Instead, get the seller’s phone number and street address. If possible, ask for references and pictures of the item. If everything checks out, arrange to meet the seller in a well-lit, populated area. Finally, never wire money online—let the cash and item change hands at the same time.
Defunct gift cards
Many scammers sell expired or empty gift cards this time of year, hoping to make a profit on a card that isn’t worth more than the plastic used to make it.
Ask to inspect any gift card you purchase before you finalize the sale. Check to see if the activation code is exposed. If it is, the scammer has probably already used the card or has copied the information and will use it soon.
Contact us immediately at (800) 762-3136 or visit your local Beacon Credit Union Member Center location if you suspect you have fallen victim to a social engineering attack and have disclosed information concerning your Beacon Credit Union accounts.
Regularly monitoring your account activity is a good way to detect fraudulent activity. If you notice unauthorized transactions under your account, notify Beacon Credit Union immediately.