November and December are open season for savvy bargain hunters, but it also puts unsuspecting consumers in the crosshairs of would-be scammers hoping to feast on ill-gotten gains.
Many fraudsters use phony websites for harvesting credit card numbers and other personal data to commit identity theft or sell personal information on the dark web. Here are a few tips to help you shop with confidence during the holidays.
Open With Care
Beware of "order confirmation" or "delivery notification" emails with links to package tracking information for items you don't remember purchasing.
Don't Take the Bait
Fraudulent booking sites or email offers with dream vacations that seem too good to be true may serve as clickbait to lure you into disclosing sensitive information.
Wolf in Santa Clothing
That Jolly St. Nick letter could be a ruse to obtain personal data from kids that could leave them vulnerable to identity theft and compromised credit years from now.
Know where your credit and debit cards are at all items and cover the keypad when entering your PIN for purchases or withdrawing funds from ATMs.
Scammers sometimes prey on data breach fears and reach out offering assistance to unsuspecting victims. If you receive an unsolicited call asking for personal information, hang up and call the company directly.
Warning Signs to Watch