Christmas is the time of year for giving to loved ones and friends, NOT to scammers.
These weasels are everywhere trying to steal your assets from you, nothing you own is sacred. At Christmas time, when people are generally in a giving mood, scammers ply their trade with deft and skill. No one is exempt from being scammed, there are precautions to take to prevent you from becoming a victim.
Under the guise of a charity, scammers will send emails with official-looking logos and appear legit. It might be hard to tell the difference between the real Charity and the faker. Some phony charities may even approach you on the street or knock at your door.
In some cases, the phony charity collector may pressure you to give since it is Christmas by evoking guilt for being selfish. They may ask for a cheque made out to them with the lame excuse they are paid by the amount they collect. A legit collector will NOT goad you by guilt or ask for a personal cheque when collecting for a charity?
How not to be fooled?
- In the case of an email, look the Charity up on the web or phone book, call them and verify.
- Ask for the name of the Charity and tell the collector you will contact the Charity yourself and donate that way.
- This above information can apply to unsolicited phone calls asking to donate to a charity as well.
Christmas Travel Scam
Millions of people travel during Christmas to visit loved ones they haven’t seen for some time. Scammers know this and set up fake travel agency websites to steal your money and personal data.
Flight Booking and Accommodation Scams
People are always looking for a real deal on flight tickets as airline travel can be expensive. Scammers know this little fact and set up official-looking but phony online travel agencies. Some clues to look for, the website is not well-known, or you have never heard of it before.
They offer deals as much as 50% off the known price of an airline ticket, who can turn down 50% off? People can pay these scammers good money for a non-existing airline ticket. When the unsuspecting traveler arrives at the airport but their flight does not exist.
These same phony travel agencies will also scam you on booking hotel accommodations at your destination. You were able to buy legit plane tickets only to arrive to find the hotel room you paid for does not exist.
Remember, when something “looks too good to be true.” – Trust your gut, it is.
When you have doubts, don’t do business with a site that appears suspicious to you, never send money or give bank numbers.
This is how a scammer should look
It is the Christmas season, and you want to remain in the spirit do business with the travel websites you know and can trust. You do business with a scammer, and your Christmas will not be a merry one.