7 Holiday Scams and Tips to Avoid Them

Posted by Rebecca Prince on December 10, 2020

Woman shopping for Christmas gifts online

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying that perfect holiday present for the ones you love!   You wait with anticipation as they unwrap their gifts on Christmas morning. A huge smile lights up their face. It’s truly a magical moment.

With COVID-19 still present, more people will be shopping online than ever before. And while it’s easy to get caught up in that festive feeling of giving to others, it’s important not to let your guard down. Here are a few holiday scams to look out for – and some tips to help you avoid them!

Beware of These Holidays Scams

Scammers exploit weak links on an e-commerce platform. In many cases, a consumer can be re-directed to a malicious domain where the skimming code can capture the customer's information from the checkout page. The skimming code would capture your information in real-time and send it to a remote server where the data is collected by the criminals behind the scenes. Your credit card data can either be sold or used to make fraudulent purchases from that point going forward.

Social Media Scams
Online shopping scams often involve the use of social media platforms to set up fake online stores. By using social media to advertise the fake website, fraudsters take your payment, but you will never see the goods.

Porch Pirates
Especially near the holidays, criminals steal packages from the doorstep / porch of unsuspecting homes, apartments, businesses, etc.

Buy Online / Curbside Pick-up
One of the newest avenues for fraud! Scammers use your order information and send a message to merchants, saying they didn’t receive an item and want a refund. Curbside pick-up is also another option for fraudsters to intercept your purchase.

Shipment Update Scams
Fraudsters send a fake email notifying you of a delivery failure or the request for updated shipping information. The email looks like it’s coming from the original sender, but it contains a link with malware.

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Donation and Fake Charities
People love giving back this time of year and scammers know this. Donation scams often try to replicate a charity website convincing you to donate money – which goes right to the criminal.

Gift Card Scams
Purchase gift cards only from trusted sources. Buy online or in store, directly from the businesses where they can be used. If you are purchasing from an online resale market, read reviews to be sure they are a reputable seller.

Holiday Shopping Tips to Stay Safe

  • Download CardValet or sign up for Account Alerts to monitor for unauthorized transactions.
  • Pay attention to emails, links, and websites. Think before you click!
  • Don’t open attachments with special offers. It’s a classic scam. The offer should be in the email, and you should be able to see it right away.
  • Avoid entering card information on web forms (could be malware installed). Use your stored payment information when possible such as Amazon Pay or PayPal.
  • Ensure home computers, laptops, and mobile devices are protected with antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
  • Use well-known websites for online purchasing.
  • Go directly to the website rather than through social media website advertisements.
  • Be cautious for skimming or shimming devices when using ATMs or gas pumps. For gas pumps, try to use the pump closest to the entrance door as they are less likely to be a target for skimmers.
  • Review and monitor your accounts daily and report any discrepancies immediately.

How DuGood Can Help

At DuGood, your security is our priority! Here are a few ways we’re looking for our members like you:

Also, be sure to check out our Security Center. It’s filled with great resources to help you stay ahead of the scammers.

Visit our Security Center