5 signs you might be dealing with a scammer

Experts are warning deal-hungry consumers to beware scammers as the holiday season arrives.

Scammers are getting smarter all the time, but there are still a few tricks you can use to stay ahead of them.

KnowBe4 security awareness advocate Jacqueline Jayne outlined five common types of scam that crop up during the holiday season.

The first of these usually involved the scammer posing as a representative of a charity, and attempting to get one over on potential victims.

“The holidays are traditionally the time for generosity and giving. It’s also the time that the cybercriminals try to trick money out of people that mean well,” she explained.

To avoid being scammed, she recommends those looking to donate to a charity only do so via an official website or phone number.

Another big scam seen during the holiday season involves discounted gift cards.

Ms Jayne recommended steering clear of any deals that sound too good to be true, especially if you encounter them on social media.

The same goes for social media promotions that emphasise the stock or time-limited nature of an offer.

“Never click on links in emails or popup ads on websites or social media pages with very deep discounts or seemingly incredible offers,” she said.

Another thing to steer clear of is mobile shopping apps.

Ms Jayne noted that shady shopping apps can sometimes bypass controls built-in by the app store, and recommended consumers do their research before downloading anything new to their personal devices.

“Be wary of apps from unknown developers or those with limited/bad reviews,” she said.

Ms Jayne predicted that holiday shoppers are likely to be bombarded by an increase of emails and SMS notifications that claim to be from delivery services like DHL, FedEx and Australia Post.

However, she warned consumers to remain vigilant and only rely on official websites to confirm or track deliveries.

“If in doubt, call them!”

For those looking for an extra layer of protection from scammers, Ms Jayne recommended considering a virtual private network (VPN) or a third-party payment service such as PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Article courtesy of Nestegg

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