Here are our tips to avoid being scammed this Christmas...
Christmas is a time of year where we are likely to be buying products online, waiting for parcels to be delivered and rushing around to make things happen.
Unfortunately, it’s also a time of year where scammers make millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims who may have handed over credit card details or clicked on bogus links and landed on a page designed to obtain vital details or access to the victims device.
So, how can you stop a scammer from having a full stocking?
If you receive an email or text message from a business stop and think ‘is this really how this business would contact me?’. If the business is asking for you to clarify your personal details, or update your credit card credentials then the answer 99.9% of the time is NO. Don’t click the link. Instead, call a phone number for the business in question and tell them that you received a message from them and you wanted to check if it was legitimate.
Start with hovering your mouse (or press, if using a smart phone or tablet) the ‘sender’ details of the email – many phishing emails will contain a slightly unusual sender address (such as incorrect spelling of the business name it was sent from, or a random jumble of letters). This is a tell tale sign of a bogus email.
Similarly, check the layout, style and design of the email. Large brands spend big money on their brand image and they wouldn’t send out an email which wasn’t professional, with correct grammar, spelling and logos.
Finally, check that you have had contact with the business or individual that has contacted you. If you don’t have a credit card with HSBC, then why would they be contacting you to tell you that you’re credit limit has been reached? Similarly, if you haven’t been online shopping with Amazon then why would you have a parcel to collect in your name?
BEWARE OF SHIPPING AND DELIVERY EMAILS
Scammers have a high success rate at Christmas time because of the emotion involved in the build up to the big day. Presents for loved ones are a classic example, where many of us face a race against the clock to get our purchases on time before the 25th December. Often we have ordered a perfect gift and we can’t wait to wrap it up and put it under the tree. Similarly, we may be waiting on large internet food or alcohol orders. Again, if you receive an email or text from Australia Post asking you to click on a link to organise collection of your items we encourage you to pick up the phone and call them directly using a number that you already have (If you do not have their number simply look it up online but under no circumstances respond to them using the contact details they have provided) . Online purchases always have an order number which you can quote and quickly clear up any concerns.
Aside from the above, if you call the company in question it may help them to prevent other potential victims from losing out.
NEVER, EVER GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS
You shouldn’t ever have to give your personal details out to a business. When you interact with an online store you pass your credit card details through a secure portal and payment system. If you’re ever asked to do this again then don’t.
Again, if a business requests for you to fill out your personal details online then find the business phone number through their official website and give them a call.
Stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas period from all at Anderson Morgan.