Holiday Hacks (But Not the Good Kind)
In the rush of the holiday season, you probably look for life hacks, which we like to call holiday hacks, that help you complete your list of preparations more efficiently. However, another kind of holiday hack definitely doesn’t make your life easier: the kind used by hackers and scammers to up their game during the holidays and take advantage of the increase in shopping and donations to charities. We’ve gathered some resources below that give you the 411 on these hacks and how to avoid them. (P.S. These same tips apply throughout the year, not just during the holidays!)
Gift Card Scams
When people are difficult to buy for or you need a last-minute gift, gift cards can save the day! However, not shockingly, hackers and scammers have figured out ways to abuse gift cards, too. This USA Today article details some of the most popular gift card scams and how to avoid them so you get the full value from all the gift cards you buy.
Before you make donations throughout the holiday season, review these tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They go over ways to identify charity scams and help you make sure your donations 1) are going to the nonprofit you think they are and 2) are being used wisely.
Make sure your end-of-year generosity is making the impact you think it is! This page from usa.gov is a comprehensive resource for everything donation-related and includes links to more detailed information about verifying charities, charity scams and tax considerations.
Online Shopping Scams
If you ever needed proof that hackers and scammers are creative, this is it. As you continue your holiday shopping, look out for these ten common online shopping scams.
Attention online shoppers! Shopping in your pajamas definitely has its benefits, but make sure you’re also familiar with the security risks of online shopping. One of the latest ways hackers are targeting online shoppers is called e-skimming, and this USA Today article will tell you what it is and what steps you can take to protect your information.
Online Shopping Safety Tips
As you search for deals, don’t forget about these important online shopping security tips. They are important all year, but especially now as scammers and hackers specifically try to take advantage of holiday shoppers.
Holiday Shopping Scams
The holiday shopping season is full of rushing around and going after deals before they disappear. Enter scammers and hackers. They take advantage of the shopping frenzy and specifically target holiday shoppers with fake websites, phishing emails and other tactics. This CNBC article will teach you more about these tactics and how to avoid them.
Protecting Your Identity
We’re sure none of you have “deal with stolen identity” on your list of holiday activities for the month, and we want to help you keep it off the list! This article from the American Bankers Association shares some preventative measures you can take to make your identity a lot harder to steal.
Lost/Exposed Information Checklist
When you lose your private information or suspect it’s been exposed, you can limit the damage done by taking quick action to protect yourself and your money! The IdentityTheft.gov website from the Federal Trade Commission breaks down the steps you need to take based on which information was stolen and/or what data breach affected you.
ID Theft Help
Unfortunately, there isn’t a fool-proof method for keeping your private information and identity safe. If you know your identity has been stolen, the IdentityTheft.gov website from the Federal Trade Commission is there to help! They provide a streamlined process for reporting identity theft and help you develop a plan so you can recover your identity as quickly as possible.