Most common Scams this Holiday Season

The holidays are always very much awaited and meat to be a festive celebration. You gather with your loved ones, and it’s the time probably shopping more, spending more, and potentially providing sensitive financial information more than at any other time of the year.

The holiday shopping season is here, bringing excitement and vicious holiday scams and theft. Katherine Hutt, the national spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau (BBB), said that “When you are out here for buying, scammers are trying to take a chunk of that.”

Scammers trying to steal stuff know there will be higher traffic and more people who are not internet savvy. The first line of defense is the mental awareness that is very important to understand how scammers can play with you.

Here we discuss common scams that you should be particularly on the lookout for.

Gift Card Scams:

The increasingly popular holiday gift items on holiday wish lists are Gift cards. Fraudsters will take these opportunities for fraud on these holidays.

They often create fake promotions on social media sites claiming, “you’ve won a gift card!” They convince you to give your personal information, which will then be sold to other cybercriminals and used for identity theft.

Another way Holiday scammers adopted is to pull the account and PINs from cards, then place them back in their places and wait when they sell out. Then they can strip the value out of the cards before the purchaser is aware of what happened.


Always be mindful “Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer,” 

Holiday Shopping Scams:

Shopping is always an intense activity for the persons, especially ladies. On Events sale deals are so good that they seem almost unbelievable.

Many scammers create replicas or slightly alter the domain name of a well-known retailer and launch it by promising great deals on hot-ticket items. Your inbox may be knocked out by an email about a sale that you might be interested in.


The best way is to go company’s direct website for your shopping needs and current deals. According to the AARP website, always confirm that the web address for the payment page starts with “HTTP” before making a purchase.

Travel And Tourism Scams:

On Holidays most people like to travel around and spend memorable time outside. The scammers know how to scam such people who are fond of traveling. Many scammers launched online travel offers around the holidays.

If you feel a travel offer looks too good to be true, please be sure or search for it. Most people go to a booking site that may look like a name-brand site, but it’s spoofing.

Bogus Smartphone Apps:

The apps are the tool of a mobile phone have become a big part of our lives. People use it for ease from a game to a retailer’s app, granting exclusive sales or limited product access.

Scammers know the fact and importance of mobile phone apps. They create fake apps and collect the information from your device.


Please download the apps from trusted app stores and websites. If you are going to download the app from a third-party site, you have to look at the reviews.

Free Vacation:

Scammers use the holiday passion of people and announce free vacation plans on holidays. Most scammers put calls or emails claiming you’ve won a “free vacation!” that sounds too good to be true. Once you pay them and reach the destination, you’ll find the accommodations less than luxurious.


To avoid such scams, never give your payment information to a company you’re not familiar with.

Holiday Charity Scams:

Charity is a very noble act to do for a person who is kind-hearted and religious as well. Scammers use the holidays to play with your heartstrings. Fraudsters create online fundraising charity sites designed to look real and promote them on social media via email. These fraudsters know that with the holiday season comes the season of giving.

Sometimes they’ll dress up as Santa and ask for charity or donations. They’ll make emotionalize you and flood your inbox with tear-jerking tales.


These kinds of scams can be avoided by calling the charity to confirm before donating any money. It’s always best to contribute to the charities that you’re familiar with. And, once we present, you can set up recurring donations so that you can continue to be charitable without getting scammed.

Work-From-Home Offers:

Scammers use another smart way to fraud the people during the busy holiday season. Many scammers showcase him as an employee of recognized businesses and post help-wanted ads on social media platforms and popular websites.

These jobs are often advertised as no experience required easy work with excellent pay, no interview necessary. Everyone wants some extra cash during this time of year.

A work-from-home offer is a convenient way to pay off all of that debt you’ve been building as your holiday shop. They will urge to follow links in these ads; they are directed to a bogus site that looks legit. The Fraudsters will then make off with this information, and the promised job will never materialize.


Use caution and stay alert, and keep your money and information safe. There are several legitimate work-from-home jobs.

Letters From Santa” Scams

Letters from Santa is a concept that also can be a rich trove for identity thieves. Scammers sell “letters from Santa” that you can have sent to your grandchildren or children. In this way, you are sharing your child’s personally identifiable information.

Scammers will use your children’s credit as Parents may not check their children’s credit reports for years and review their records. They may suddenly find that identity thieves have ruined their credit rating.


Be very hesitant about providing financial and personal information to someone you’ve never met.

Giveaways and Too-Good-To-Be-True Deals

In just the next couple of months, there will be sales booster everywhere, including Cyber Monday with a slogan “Too-Good-To-Be-True Deals.” Suppose the deal sounds like the pair of Ray-Bans for $40 or new iPad Air 2 for $100 from a website that you’ve never heard of, then it probably is a scam.

Scammers build their fake websites that appear like recognizable brands. By using them, they send out unrealistic discounts on brand name products and gift cards to unsuspecting customers to gather their personal information.

Here is the time to maintain the habit of checking your online banking and account activity regularly and don’t fall for complimentary watches, phones, tablets, appliances, and more.


Never purchase on a site you’ve never heard of, and develop the habit of checking your account’s recent transactions and the norm.

Phishing Emails, Social Media, Or Text:

Holiday frauds are very common that we have to face regularly. We live in the digital world, and Phishing emails, the text, are the most common scams that abound ahead of the holidays. Scammers can take the form of bogus delivery confirmation requests seeking your information.

Here are some under covered phishing scams you should know when you open your inbox.

  • Fake shipping alters
  • Fake invoices of purchases
  • Too-Good-To-Be-True bogus deals
  • Fake surveys to force you to participate


Always pay attention to the links where you are going to purchase. It might be is the malicious link that will download spyware or a program that will capture passwords and other personal information.

If you are getting a shipping notification but didn’t buy anything, it’s a scam.

Unclaimed Property Or Potential Fraud On Your Account:

That is the most common scam from scammer to put a letter or a phone call claiming to be from a legitimate department for unclaimed property, possibly from an unknown relative who has passed and left you an inheritance.

You either receive a call from a scammer who claims that they are from the financial department or have seen some suspicious activity on your account. They have already gathered some of your information to convince you the call is from a legitimate department.


Research well before giving out your information to any call you did not initiate.

Data Theft And Downright Theft:

Data theft and Downright theft are very much inverse to one other. The first one is a digital scam, and the other is still prone to old-school scams like Pickpockets in crowded areas.

A survey shows that 42 percent of people don’t shop on a personal, protected internet connection. Instead, they use public Wi-Fi or a relationship without spam or malware protection. That way creates a chance for a thief to intercept and steal credit card numbers, bank account, and personal data.

Downright Theft like Pickpockets in crowded areas and packages stolen from your front door or Ticket scalpers selling tickets for hard-to-find holiday events are noticeable during holidays.


Assures that the site you are using has a secure, encrypted connection to your computer. To avoid downright theft, take precautions like locking your doors at all times, counting your money after making a purchase.


Is Gift Cards On Christmas Day Also A Scam?

The Federal Trade Commission warns against using gift cards. In case if someone demands payment for the gift card is always, always, always a scammer.

What Do Fake Retail Websites Do For The Scam?

Scammers made web addresses similar to well-known sites like “” and look visually identical. When you attempt to “buy” a product, you’re just giving scammers your data and a credit card number.

Is Using Public Wi-Fi Or A Connection Is Also At Risk?

Using public Wi-Fi or a connection without spam or malware protection can give thieves an opening to intercept and steal data.

What Are Preventive Measures One Should Adopt To Save In These Holidays From Scamming?

Make a habit of reviewing your bank and credit card statements frequently whenever you make a purchase. Always be cautious about dealing outside of your own country.


Scammers try to discover new ways of deceiving innocent people. Therefore, it is important to be alert all the time, especially at the time of holidays. Because, during holidays, everyone focuses on enjoyment, and it diverts their attention from being looted. It provides an opportunity for scammers, and they can trap anyone easily.

Hopefully, the above discussion will help you get rid of holiday scams and keep you away from scammers. CWP

Community Watch Paper posts:

How To Protect Yourself From Various Kind Of Scams

Door-to-Door Security System Scams


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