The holidays can be one of the most hectic but exciting times of the year. Fraud spikes during the holiday season as most people are busy and not as vigilant as they might normally be. This season is a prime time for fraudsters. Below is a list of the unique fraud scams that may impact the public during the holidays. Protect yourself and happy holidays!
1. Holiday Job Offers – Also known as reverse sell scams. This type of scam is where you can make money while sitting at home doing nothing. The fraudster sends you a fake check for job services rendered but you have to send them money because they overpaid you. Wait for the fraudster’s check to clear the bank.
2. Impostor Fraud – Fake Christmas bell ringer and other people representing themselves as a charity organization.
3. Fake Christmas Angel – This scam is where your gift doesn’t go to your intended charity.
4. Distraction Fraud – Charity door knockers singing those wonderful holiday carols only to distract you so someone can steal from you.
5. Swoop and Squat – Also known as staged auto accidents. The fraudster swoops in front of your car and stops suddenly causing you to run into the back of the fraudster’s car. During the holidays, the fraudster takes advantage of holiday shoppers that are in a hurry and distracted.
6. Lost Wallet Email – This scam can affect social media users that indicate when they are traveling on popular websites. Hackers pretending to be you and reach out to your friends and family to say that you are stranded during holiday travel and need money.
7. Arson – During the holiday season, fraudsters may stage turkey frying fires or Christmas tree fires in order to make it look like their house burned down because they need to get out of their mortgage.
8. Package Pending Fraud – Someone leaves a business card on your door saying you have a package on hold waiting to be delivered. Either the number is a “premium charge” number where you get charged for calling the number (809 Scam) or they are waiting to see when you will or will not be home.
9. Fake Ticket Scams – Selling fake NFL Tickets or other special events. It is easy to forge these documents.
10. Advance Fee Loan Scam – This scam requires the borrower to pay an upfront fee for a small loan, but the loan never comes through.
11. Fake Apps – These apps charge $1 and take your personal information. Be sure if you come across any fake Mobile Tablet Applications that you report it to the online store you bought it from. Watch out for free apps that ask you for your personal information. Also watch out for those cute Free Holiday Downloads, as they may open your computer up to hackers and viruses.
12. E-Card Greetings Scams – This scam can be especially dangerous if received from a stranger or strange websites. Beware as there may be an ugly virus behind the holiday greeting.
13. Foreign Lottery Scams – This Nigerian scam has been around for over 10 years but people still fall for it, especially during the holidays.
14. College Arrest Bondsman Scam – This one is always good to discuss with young adults around the dinner table especially when they come home for the holidays. The fraudster calls home pretending to be a bondsman indicating your child while at college has been arrested. The parent attempts to contact their child and if unsuccessful, the parent will provide a credit card number to the fake bondsmen to bail them out.