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Tis the season for Holiday Scams

by Whats Up Tech

Posted on July 20, 2017

Holiday ScamTis the Season for Holiday Scams.  Please remember to be on the alert for phone calls, e-mails and popups while you are surfing the web. 


E-mails especially posing as UPS, USPS, and FedEx are very popular this time of year (holiday shopping).  Many of these have viruses or spyware hooked to them.  Don’t be fooled the shipping company will never send you an e-mail unless you have asked them to.  You are allowed to ask for tracking purposes from these shipping companies.  If you did not sign up for anything like this and you are getting e-mail from them disregard!!


As mentioned before there is a telephone spoofing campaign still going around that looks like a valid (307) however the one on the other end sure is not.  If you do not recognize the number allow it to go to voicemail, in most cases the scam never leaves one.  Think about it, 98% of our calls are never an emergency and if it was the caller will for sure leave a message.


Finally, some internet popups can be dangerous.  Scammers prey on human error, if you forgot a letter or had a typo when typing an internet address and hit enter often times you are taking to a way different place that means nothing and many times you may see a popup when you go there.  DO NOT click on the OK or anything like that if this happens.  By doing so you have just given permission to load a piece of software onto your computer.  Usually, it is Spyware but it can be worse.  If you are not sure what the address is use a search engine like Google to look for what you are wanting.  Second, if the popup advises you that you have a virus or something on that line.  Don’t believe it, a scan of your computer can only be started by YOU.  Close out of the page all together and if you are worried perform your own virus scan.  There are many free virus protectors out there.  The school here uses Windows Defender.

Cmmon scams

You’ll find these strategies used in emails, on social media and when shopping online.

  • Someone can’t get to their money and they’ll pay you to help.
  • A new girlfriend or boyfriend you meet online starts asking for money.
  • A business or government organization says you owe them money and makes threats.
  • Someone tells you your identity has been stolen and they need information to protect you.
  • Someone offers you a job but wants you to pay them first.

How to protect yourself

  1. Never give personal information to people who call or contact you online.
  2. If you think an organization contacting you is legitimate, tell them you’ll call them back. Then use the number on their website.
  3. Always make sure a check has cleared before withdrawing funds.
  4. Avoid public Wi-Fi for banking and making purchases.
  5. If you receive an email with a link to a site that asks for your password or personal information, manually type the site’s address and log in like you normally would.
  6. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, call your bank and credit card companies to report it.
  7. Also contact one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit file.