As Labor Day marks the end of summer, many Americans are likely to be doing one of three things--taking advantage of sales, travelling, or enjoying an outdoor barbeque with friends and family. While many of us are anticipating a long weekend, always keep in mind that holidays and events are prime times for scammers and identity thieves to strike. Labor day is no exception.
Here are some things you should do to stay safe from scams this Labor Day weekend.
Labor Day Travel Scam Prevention
The Better Business Bureau reports that consumers are scammed out of more than $10 billion each year. Travel scams range from fake “free” or dirt cheap vacation giveaways, amazing deals where scammers pocket your money without making a reservation, card skimmers, and more. Protect yourself from Labor Day Travel scams using these tips:
- Check the reputation of any website or agency you use for booking to make sure it’s reputable or use browser protection to automatically block malicious sites & other phishing scams.
- Be highly suspicious of any unsolicited travel offer. If you suspect it may be real, call the company directly to confirm the specifics.
- Don’t sign up for travel clubs (not even a free trial) until you’ve verified how to cancel and any fees associated with a subscription or cancellation.
- Never give financial information by phone. In hotels, visit the front desk for payment issues, as scammers can call your hotel room from outside of the hotel pretending to be hotel staff.
- Watch for flashy pop-up ads, incorrect wording or spelling in emails, false links, or deals so cheap they aren’t believable.
- If an ATM or card reader at a gas pump looks tampered with or if it feels loose when you pull on it, go inside for assistance and do not swipe your card as skimmers are becoming increasingly popular.
- Check your financial accounts for fraudulent charges regularly.
- Don’t post on social media that you plan to travel.
Labor Day Phishing Scam Prevention
Year after year, scammers use social media, email, and other methods to trick online shoppers who just want to take advantage of the great Labor day sales and discounts. With so many deals, it gets tough to figure out what sales are legit and which sales are fronts for phishing scams. The BBB rated “copycat websites”, which scammers use to make their phishing attempts more believable, as the 4th most popular scam in the world. Protect yourself from Labor Day Phishing scams using these scams using these tips:
- Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails.
- Don’t download attachments that don’t come directly from trusted sources.
- Make purchases only from retailers you trust.
- If you haven’t heard of a company before, research it online before making a purchase.
- View the website URL to ensure it appears as expected before entering your billing information.
- Use browser protection to block phishing websites and other scams.
Using these tips, it is our hope that you’ll enjoy a scam-free Labor Day.