Are you doing last minute shopping? Here are some tips to help you stay in the festive spirit and prevent any scammers from ruining your holiday!

It’s that time of the year again!  Lots to do and very little time. Here are some tips to help you stay in the festive spirit and prevent any scammers from ruining your holiday!

Here are some general holiday security and online shopping tips to make your season a little more stress free:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Always run a virus scan on attachment before opening.
  • Always compare the link in the e-mail to the web address link you are directed to and determine if they match.
  • Do not display large amounts of money in public.
  • If you have to carry cash, keep the larger amounts separate and not in your wallet or purse.
  • Be mindful of pickpockets on crowded trains, buses and elevators.
  • Keep money and wallets on a secure part of your person and be suspicious of excessive bumping.
  • When making credit card purchases, obtain your receipt and carbon paper.
  • Do not place shopping bags or pocketbooks on the ground and out of touch while paying for other items.
  • Place packages and merchandise in the trunk of your car and out of view.

Have you seen these popular scams out there

  • Fake classified ads or auction sales for products that do not exist.
  • Gift card scams where scammers sell you gift cards that were fraudulently obtained.  You should only purchase gift cards directly from the merchant or authorized retail merchant.
  • Phishing and social networking emails or text messages advising you there is a problem with your financial accounts.  Another scam to be aware of us is receiving email messages directing you to a fake Facebook or another spoofed social network site.

Are you shopping online for the holidays? includes a whole section on how to protect yourself while shopping online.  This section also describes how to protect yourself against identify theft and email scams:

Online Shopping Tips
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Protect Yourself From Email Scams

Information is also available in Spanish at Fraude de Internet: Cri­menes y Prevencion

Happy and Safe Holidays to you and your loved ones!

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