In these last few days before Christmas many people are overwhelmed and distracted with holiday preparations. There’s so much to do! You might have forgotten you ordered something, right?
That’s what the crooks are banking on. The scammers are busily trying to rip people off, relying on their being too overwhelmed and distracted with holiday preparations. Now is the time to be sure you don’t unwrap a most unwelcome gift: A scam.
Fraudsters are sending out emails with phony (but real-looking) shipping confirmations. Here’s an example:
The example is Wal-Mart, but Target and Home Depot have also been spoofed in the scam emails. It’s easy to imagine that someone might think, “Hmmm. I don’t remember ordering anything from Wal-Mart, but maybe I forgot.” If you click on the link to get more information, you download a virus that goes after your personal information. You’ve just become a likely victim of identity theft. Not exactly the kind of holiday gift you want!
What to do? Remember, never click a link in an email. Always remember the 3rd R of scam prevention: Reach out to check it out. Call your local store directly, using the number you find on the legitimate website or through 411 Directory Assistance. Here are some more tips for spotting a sketchy email:
Keep your “scam detector” turned up high in the days ahead, and Happy Holidays!