'Tis the season for scams. Here are some ways to avoid them

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
'Tis the season for scams. Here are some ways to avoid them
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According to the FBI, scammers bilked consumers out of more money last holiday season than the year before costing them upwards of $330 million.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The holiday season is ripe for scammers taking advantage of people's giving spirit and gift buying.

According to the FBI, scammers bilked consumers out of more money last holiday season than the year before, costing them upwards of $330 million.

One of the big ones this time of year is fake deliveries. You get a message saying something is going on with an order you placed, check the status by clicking here.

"Once you click on it, you know, they'll ask you for information, whether it's credit card information or your account information, and if you give them that information they then have it and will use it to make money," said Alex Hamerstone, the Advisory Solutions Director at TrustedSec.

Another one to watch out for is a site selling fake goods or no goods at all.

"It's not uncommon that there are a lot of fake sites out there that will promise to send you something and just won't. And of course, when you go to get your money back, that site's gone that seller is gone, a lot of these have moved on to social media."

Experts also suggest watching how many "connected" items you are using. Things that come with an app you need to install to control it.

"People will oftentimes just want connected things for the sake of connected things and all of a sudden you have all these new points of entry into your home network."

Protecting yourself isn't always easy but persistence can pay off. Know the privacy policies of sites you use, never reuse passwords, regularly update your home Wi-Fi router and reboot it every week. Also, take a step back. If you are feeling urgency and pressure, it's most likely a scam.

"They know that the longer you think about it, the more likely you are to realize it's a scam and not follow through."

Experts suggest when in doubt, take a page from Saint Nick.

"You know the same way Santa makes his lists and checks it twice, you know kind of checks everything twice."

Better Business Bureau's Naughty 12 List

Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Advice on Scams

FBI Holiday Scams