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Planning & Economy

Holiday E-Scams

December 4th, 2017

There’s never a dull moment. The holiday season is no exception; there’s an excellent chance that someone in your family will be exposed to an E-Scam.

E-Scam = email scam. So here are my top five E-Scams. Be aware there’s probably a lot more than five scams out there, but the ones I’ve selected to chat about I think are the sneakiest.

  1. Fake shipping notifications: I almost fell prey to one these recently. You get an email notifying you that something has been shipped to you. It then asks you to click on the tracking link. If you click on the link provided in the email, you will most likely download malware onto your computer designed to steal your personal information.
  2. Holiday E-cards: This is another malware induced scam. Watch out for missing sender’s name. Be especially careful with cards from friends and family: Someone can hack your friends and family’s emails. Always look for a confirmation code to open the e-card at the issuing website.
  3. Social media gift exchange: What a great deal; buy one gift and get 36 in return. But it’s a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal.*
  4. Fake E-mail discount deals and offers: Unless you know the retailer and have shopped there before, do not click on any links. If you know the retailer and you’ve shopped there before, pay attention to the URL. If one is not provided, go directly to the website and look for the offer there.
  5. Fake “Security Breach” emails: You’ll be threatened that your account will be suspended, closed, inactivated or some such thing if you do not take the actions recommended in the email; which include providing your address, password and account information. Slick, huh?

Hint: you can hover your mouse, the cursor, over the “click here” link and it should show you the underlying URL – if it looks funny and does not match the provider, i.e., Amazon.com, PayPal.com or whatever.com, do not click it, ok.

Enjoy the holiday shopping season, skip the scams.

Currently, our portfolios overweighted domestic and foreign equities.

Carlos Dominguez – Portfolio Manager, RJ

 

*Here is how this scheme works: If a consumer purchases one gift for a stranger, he or she will receive as many as 36 gifts in return.  This type of gift exchange may seem reasonable enough in theory: six friends invite six more friends, who all send gifts to the participant in spot 1 before that person’s named is removed.  This process repeats itself with the participant in the 2 spot, and so on. https://www.bbb.org/indy/news-events/news-releases/2016/12/gift-exchange-scam-on-social-media-taking-on-new-forms/

https://www.moneycrashers.com/common-email-internet-scams/

 https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

 Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.  The preceding information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Carlos Dominguez and not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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