- December 18, 2019
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. People everywhere will generously spend hundreds of billions of dollars on gifts and charitable donations. More than 40% will purchase or donate online, making them more susceptible to scams. And Hackers are ready! Armed with phony emails that look authentic, phishing software, and even fake applications, many innocent people can fall victim to scams.
It is never a convenient time to fall for a scam or hack, but least of all during the holidays when so many people have budgeted for months on gifts and donation. Phishing emails not only access your devices, but they can affect your entire network.
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Pay with a credit card, not a debit card.
- ALWAYS check that you are purchasing or donating on a secured website. Look on the corner near the URL and makes sure you see a locked icon and that it doesn’t say, “not secure”.
- Shop from Websites that have the extra ‘s’ in the URL (https vs http).
- Make sure the name of the business or charity is correctly spelled on the website and that the URL is authentic.
- If you received an email asking for donations, or to purchase anything, check that the “from” is a legitimate source. You may have to click on the name to display the email address.
- Upgrade reminders from your hosting company, or system upgrade prompts MAY NOT be legitimate, and you may not think to check before clicking.
- Be cautious of “robocalls” from a bank and/or credit card company asking for account information such as your social security number, address or other information you wouldn’t want someone to know.
- Stay organized by recording what you have purchases and the amounts so you can check your accounts and verify your purchases.
- Update all your passwords (computers, accounts, apps) on a regular basis.
If you have been a victim of a scam, it is important to report it quickly. Nearly 15% of scams go unreported. Remember to monitor other accounts that haven’t been affected and contact your bank and credit cards should you notice anything suspect.
SDG Law is a full service law firm with 14 attorneys who have extensive experience in their practice areas. We provide personalized, strategic solutions to our clients to help them achieve their goals. Because we are a general practice law firm, we offer comprehensive advice on a wide array of legal issues. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys, along with our dedicated support staff, draws its strength from working together to support each individual case.