Scams During Christmas: Tips to Protect Your Money

As millions across Europe prepare for the Christmas season, scammers are also preparing to swindle the unsuspecting population. The mood around Christmass time is always jolly, a time to be happy and share beautiful moments with family and friends. But this is not the case for scammers. Instead, they are busy plotting to take advantage of the season and get away with as much as they can.

Please use these tips to protect yourself and loved ones during this season:

1. Giving out personal information

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and it can be easy to let your guard down when it comes to protecting your personal information. However, it’s important to be extra vigilant during this time of year. Whether you’re shopping online or in person, be sure that you’re only dealing with reputable businesses and individuals. Avoid giving out your Social Security number, credit card number, or bank account information to anyone unless you are absolutely certain that they can be trusted. With so many scams and identity theft attempts during the holiday season, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Keep your personal information safe by being choosy about who you share it with this holiday season.

2. Phishing emails

Be on the lookout for “phishing” emails and texts that try to trick you into giving away your personal information. These scam messages often spoof legitimate businesses or organizations, and they may try to get you to click on a link or open an attachment that contains malware. The phishing emails tend to increase as Christmas approaches and many scammers will try to impersonate major retail platforms,often purporting  to be giving huge discounts for the merry season.  If you receive a suspicious message, do not respond to it and do not click on any links or attachments. Instead, delete it immediately.

3. Social Media posts

Be careful about what you post on social media during the holidays. Avoid sharing too much personal information, such as your home address or travel plans. Also, be aware that scammers can create fake online “deals” and “coupons” in order to get your credit card number or other financial information. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!

4. Bank and credit statements

Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements during the holidays, and report any suspicious activity immediately. Scammers may try to make small charges on your accounts in order to see if they can get away with it unnoticed. If you spot any unauthorized transactions, contact your financial institution right away so they can take appropriate action.

5. Trust your instincts

Finally, don’t let the holiday rush prevent you from being thoughtful about financial decisions. This is the time of year when many people make impulsive purchases that they later regret. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away from the deal—no matter how tempting it may be.

Scam Help is standby to guide you during this holiday season. Is there anything you are not sure about? Have you encountered any suspicious calls or messages as the holiday season approaches? Please share with Scam Help.


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