Why holiday spending makes it easier for fraudsters to scam you

Holiday spending always makes it easier for fraudsters to steal your money, and this is for two main reasons, says Britespark Communications.

Rush, rush, rush

Firstly, you may be so busy with shopping and parties that you don't take that extra minute to scrutinise an email link that purports to come from a store or delivery service.

Related to this is that people in a rush are also more susceptible to social engineering scams, and more likely to give details over the phone to someone pretending to help them get their packages delivered.

Hide the evidence

Secondly, there are likely so many more transactions on your bank or card statement for this period that it's easy to miss those that may be fraudulent.

Watch out for alerts about problems with your package delivery. These could be legitimate, but double-check. If anyone calls and asks for your password, you know it's a scam.

Also, be on the lookout for fake charity emails and phone calls.

Furthermore, spoof emails and websites from popular brands or stores may look genuine but check the links before you click. If you do click and enter your details only to find they have been rejected, it may have been a scam. If in doubt, open a new window and put in the store's real website.

Beware of great deals that seem so good you want to click on them on your mobile. It's harder to mouse over a link and know where it's going on a smartphone than on a laptop or tablet. You might want to resist the urge to click until you can verify the source.

Five handy tips:

  • Turn on alerts, if available, from your bank or card issuer. This can inform you when spending is taking place on your card or account;
  • Check your accounts more regularly to make sure all the purchases are genuine. It's easy to forget what you bought a few weeks later;
  • Look at your privacy settings to make sure you're only sharing payment information you want to share;
  • Consider using your card for major purchases, rather than paying from your bank account, because of the protection on card purchases;
  • Don't fall for phone calls where the caller asks for your card details. If you didn't make the call, you don't know it's legit.
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