The 12 Scams of Christmas: #2
Christmas is a time of giving, of spending time with loved ones, and of celebrating the birth of Christ. This Christmas season, make sure you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas by avoiding scams. Follow along with our 12 Scams of Christmas series to learn more about the most common scams encountered around the holidays and make sure to use browser protection to avoid holiday scams occurring online.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 2 Santa Scammers
Two Common Santa Scams
Another common scam that occurs around Christmastime includes handwritten letters from Santa to your child, usually for the price of $19.99. This offer might come by email, text message, or on social media.
Don’t click on the link. It’ll bring you to a website promising to sell you a customized letter from Santa. Some even offer official nice-list certifications. There might even be a free shipping special that ends in just a few hours. The website looks real enough, but in reality, it’s a front for scammers. At best, you might be out $20, but at worst, it can result in your information, your child’s information, and your financial information being handed over to scammers who can now use it for identity theft.
In another variation of this scam, the website promises a free letter from Santa. This one doesn’t request payment, but it does require a significant amount of personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. You might receive your free Santa letter, but what the sites don’t publicise is that they’re selling your personal information to spammers for profit. After all, they have to make money somehow.
What Can I Do To Stay Safe?
Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers want you to compromise your better judgement by pressuring you to act fast. Don’t fall for it.
Use browser protection like Guardio to automatically block websites containing phishing attempts, scams, or other threats.
Activate account monitoring so that you’ll be alerted if a scammer has made your information public to other criminals on the deep web.
Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails and websites often are riddled with typos. This is often a giveaway that you aren't dealing with a real business.