Festive Season Shopping Scams

In addition to legitimate businesses and retailers seeking to turn a profit this festive season, plenty of hackers and scammers are aiming to do the same by taking advantage of the euphoria of the festive season.

Here are some scams to look out for:

  • Misleading online advertisements fooling victims into paying for non-existent products or services.
  • False links and cloned websites advertising goods. Once the victim makes a purchase using these links and sites, the attackers gain their personal information. Thus, enabling identity fraud to make further purchases.
  • There are plenty of false charities at work, either on behalf of an individual or organisation. These charities capitalise on people's emotions during the festive season. This is effective, as people are more likely to make donations out of empathy during this time.

Follow these tips to stay safe when shopping online this festive season:

  • Only shop on trusted sites which have a good reputation and a secure connection. Never make use of public Wi-Fi when shopping online, cyber criminals are known to intercept connections to obtain information.
  • Hover your mouse over the website you are visiting, to ensure that the site is secure (HTTPs is displayed as well as the lock icon). If the site is not secure, it is most likely a cloned website. However, keep in mind that cyber criminals are becoming smarter each day and even legitimate and secure looking sites could be fake.
  • If you make use of your credit or debit card and notice any suspicious card activity contact your bank immediately.
  • Ensure that your firewalls are up and running and doublecheck on your network security settings. Hackers now more than ever will try their best to intercept any network traffic by spoofing popular domains.
  • Beware of charity scams and pitiful individuals on social media requesting donations. Always authenticate them via a third-party.


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