When holidays take over, some people try to take advantage of others by coming up with scams and tactics to victimize unsuspecting consumers. Students and many young people are prone to these scams and the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to be aware of their tactics and always be on the alert.
In this article, let’s take a look at some of the most common tricks that scammers may try to pull off during this coming holiday – the Valentine’s Day.
Electronic Greeting Card Scams. Valentine’s Day greetings are expected during this day and although e-cards or greetings cards sent via internet is the trend, you want to watch out against e-card scams. Your inbox might be flodded with V-day e-cards on February 14th, but before you click on each mail, check to see where the email is from.
An e-card sent by scammer may contain viruses or spyware. A malicious program can install itself in your computer and copy all your files and information saved in your computer system. This is an effective tactic that identity thieves use to steal personal information. To avoid getting scammed, the best thing to do is not to open any email or e-card from an unfamiliar sender.
Phishing Scams. Scammers try to do everything to steal information from the internet. One common strategy is by creating “fake” or “phishing” websites that are especially made to steal information. You may receive an email, claiming to be from a government agency or from a reputable merchant. The email may look like it came from the original resource, when in fact, it is “fake”.
You might be directed to provide some verifying information and click on a link embedded on the email. However, the link leads to a “phishing” website which is made to look like an online form where you can enter your personal information. Needless to say, the moment you type in your details and click on the submit button, you will be handing over your precious personal information to the hands of identity thieves.
Online Dating Scams. Are you planning to find a date on Valentine’s Day through the internet? If yes, you should be extra cautious. There are dating websites on the internet which are legitimate but there are also plenty of online dating websites which are fraudulent. You should particularly watch out online dating sites that require upfront credit card payment in exchange for their services.
Skimmers. If you plan to take your special someone on a dinner date in a fine-dining restaurant, don’t hand your credit card to the waiter. Scammers can use a “skimming” device which is small enough to fit inside the palm of a hand. The “skimming” device can stay hidden from your sight and in just a few seconds, it can instantly scan through your credit card’s magnet and steal all your credit card information.
Instead, volunteer to take your credit card to the cashier and keep an eye on your card. See to it that your credit card never leaves your sight. If the cashier needs to do verification steps, make sure that it is done where you can see your credit card.
About the Author:
Samantha Wilson is a consultant for credit cards for students. For years she has written student credit card reviews articles that would help build student credits.