Fraud

The Twelve Scams of Christmas

Mollie Webb

December 15, 2023

Mollie Webb

The Twelve Scams of Christmas: a guide to guarding against festive fraud

As we approach the holiday season, and to ensure a scam-free holiday, we’d like to take a moment to remind everyone about the importance of remaining vigilant against fraud.

Unfortunately, this time of year often sees an increase in fraudulent activities. So it is crucial for us to stay informed and be proactive in terms of protecting ourselves.

Without further ado, here are the Twelve Scams of Christmas:

1. Jolly phishing trips 🎣

Watch out for those holiday-themed emails and messages that seem too good to be true. Whether it’s a supposed gift delivery or an exclusive deal, verify the source before clicking any links or sharing personal information.

2. Merry misdirection 🛍️

Online shopping is a holiday favourite, but be cautious of fake websites and misleading links. Stick to reputable retailers, look for the “https://” in the URL, and double-check the website’s legitimacy before making a purchase.

3. Yuletide gift card grinches 💳

Gift cards are a popular present, but be wary of requests for payment using gift cards. Scammers often pose as authorities or loved ones in distress, asking for gift card codes as a form of payment. Confirm the legitimacy of such requests directly with the person or entity involved.

4. Deck the halls with password woes 🔑

Ensure your online accounts are wrapped up tight with strong, unique passwords. ’Tis not the season for using the same password across multiple platforms. Consider adding an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication.

5. The Ghost of Social Engineering Past 👥

Beware of the friendly ghost who might be trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Verify the identity of those making unusual requests and be cautious about sharing personal or financial details.

6. Sleigh bells and skimming spells 👁️

When making in-store purchases, keep an eye on your credit card. Skimming devices can be discreetly attached to card readers, compromising your information. If something looks suspicious, notify the store immediately.

7. Dashing through the Wi-Fi woes 🛜

Using public Wi-Fi for holiday shopping? Think twice. Public networks can be a hotspot for cybercriminals. Opt for secure, password-protected networks to keep your information safe.

8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ransomware 📧

Protect your digital assets from ransomware attacks. Regularly backup important files and be cautious about opening unexpected email attachments or links, especially from unknown senders.

9. Mistletoe misdirection 📱

Be cautious about sharing travel plans on social media. Broadcasting your absence could invite unwanted attention to your home or the fact that you are not at work. Save the holiday photo sharing for your return.

10. The Nutcracker Nitwits 📞

Verify the legitimacy of unexpected calls or messages claiming to be from a financial institution, government agency, or anyone requesting a payment.  

11. Tangled tinsel trouble 📝

Review your financial statements regularly during the holiday season. Detecting unauthorised transactions early can save you from a financial tangle later on. Report any discrepancies promptly.

12. Frosty the Fraud Fighter 🥷

Embrace your inner Frosty and stay cool under holiday pressure. If something feels off, trust your instincts. Don’t take a risk even if you are under time pressure. 

Freetrade takes fraud extremely seriously and has a number of measures in place to help protect you. We have also created a new Fraud and Security Centre. Here you’ll find a series of articles and tips on how to stay safe that we will keep adding to over time. 

Please take a look and contact us if you have any questions.

Wishing you a fraud-free and festive holiday season 🎄

The views expressed above are those of community members and do not reflect the views of Freetrade. It is not investment advice and we always encourage you to do your own research.

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