Email scams do not go anywhere anytime soon, and, unfortunately, they get worse during the holiday season. We continue to have the same secret sister gift exchanges or parcel delivery phishing scams resurfacing every year too.
Studies say Americans spend more than $400 billion on holiday gifts, treats, and holidays, making it an incredible target for scammers. So here’s how to find shipping scams during the holidays and keep you safe.
Digital Credit Card Skimming
There is nothing new about credit card skimming, but the criminals who use it are getting smarter. There’s still a slim risk of this arising anytime you tap a credit or debit card at a gas station, ATM, or vending machine.
Thieves mount reading machines on top of legal readers, such as a payment terminal for a gas station, and the data is “skimmed.”
This same idea, though, went digital, and in 2018-19, several big-box retailers such as Target and Macy’s were targeted. Card data has been digitally skimmed, meaning you may even hand over financial data to a cybercriminal when you buy Christmas presents.
Unfortunately, on any particular website, ordinary customers have no means of telling when this will happen. Here are a few tips for defending yourself potentially:
Examples of Spam Phishing
Are you confident that the UPS email is really from UPS? Companies and individuals are frequently targeted by cybercriminals through emails designed to look like they came from a reputable bank, government department, or company. (Or Costco, BestBuy, or the countless unsolicited emails you receive every day?) The sender asks recipients to click on a connection in these emails that brings them to a page where personal data, account records, etc. can be checked.
This approach is called phishing, and it’s a way that hackers convey your personal information or account data to you. Hackers build new user passwords after your information is stolen, or inject malware (such as backdoors) into your device to capture confidential data.
It begins with “Salutations from the son of the deposed Prince of Nigeria…” and it is getting more and more difficult to differentiate a bogus email from a checked one. Still, several of them have slight signs of their dishonest intent. To help you detect a malicious email and preserve email protection.
False Websites and Scam Applications
There are bogus websites or malicious applications everywhere seeking to sell you stuff. Nearly 60 percent of Americans dropped in 2019 for at least one form of a phishing scam, according to digital security company Avast.
While these are not traditional mail scams, most of them promise to ship a good or service to you. You get a text or email demanding payment information, your address, or other personal information that would be used against you in a phishing scheme. There are shipments of scams or other outright fake programs that appear like the real deal.
A list of related scams can be found at the Better Business Bureau Scam Trail
The main goals of late are mail distribution and online shopping, but risks are everywhere these days, both old and fresh. Beware of these:
Those are only a handful of the many possible mail scams or tricks that you might encounter during the holidays in your mailbox. Bear in mind that not everyone is a hoax, and hundreds of genuine charitable events, flyers for home renovation, jobs, and regular IRS letters are going out.
Don’t necessarily expect the worst but take a second glance before you get into trouble if something looks fishy, requires a link to follow, or needs you to enter personal data of some sort. Trust your instincts: if anything looks wrong, it’s not.
Avoid SMS Parcel Scams “Confirm For Delivery”
With more people shopping online than ever before, online shoppers are a huge target, especially when coping with Covid-19. It will continue throughout the holiday season as it ships millions of packages.
It’s most definitely a fake and a scam if you get a random and unwanted text message asking you to click on a connection. These messages also claim to be from Amazon, FedEx, UPS, USPS, DPD, Hermes, and more, but are really from scammers and may be able to download your computer with malware.
Do not click on any links, except those who ask you to “set delivery preference” or “confirm for delivery”
A lot of people get parcels regularly, so falling prey is easy. Some of these would state that you pay for shipping, but to validate the order or distribution slot, ask for your credit card details. Never send your credit card details to someone, unless it is a website you trust entirely.