All Points Mobile Shredding Blog

Holiday Cyber Scams

The Latest Fraud Schemes & How to Avoid Them

As if 2020 could get any worse, this year promises even more cyber crime activity. Now, more than ever before, more and more people are doing the bulk of their holiday shopping online. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the country, cyber shopping is the safest option for getting all the gifts on your list, but it isn’t without risk. As online sales increase, so do scams and cyber crimes. Those who are looking to steal your identity have created numerous new ways to gain access to your personal information. Take a look:

As usual, scammers and ID thieves are out to get their hands on your personal information, to steal your money and/or to deliver malware to your devices. And although these schemes are not new, it’s the sheer volume of online shoppers and transactions that has cyber crooks racing to make you their latest victim.

Phony Phone Calls

Phone calls from customer service representatives may seem pretty innocuous, but beware of unsolicited calls as they are often unscrupulous attempts of a crime. Reports are coming into watchdog organizations of people receiving calls and being prompted to give their account numbers, to press one to enter in their account password and to provide other private information to the representative on the phone. Avoid these types of scams:

  • Do not give any information to anyone who calls you that you have not reached out to first
  • If you have questions about an order you placed, call the company yourself or log onto their site
  • Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize – if it is a valid call, they will leave you a message
  • If you do answer and are asked for personal information, hang up immediately
  • Do not follow prompts to press 1 or to enter in your credit card, bank account or other numbers 

Phishing Emails

Just like phony phone calls, scammers will attempt to reach you by email with a variety of tactics designed to get your confidential information. These emails are often very convincing, as many cyber criminals and hackers are able to get a hold of your contacts and send emails that appear to be from people you know. They are also able to spoof popular shopping sites like Amazon, using logos and text that seem to match the real site. Avoid phishing emails:

  • Do not respond to email requests from anyone (even someone you know) to purchase gift cards for them
  • Do not respond to emails from contacts asking if you have an Amazon account or asking for your log in
  • Beware of emails that contain links or prompt you to click on something
  • Do not provide any personal information via email, including your log in for online shopping sites, your account numbers, credit card and bank account information

Fake Websites

Another popular way to capture your attention and your personal information is via fake websites. Hackers are designing fraudulent websites and posting offers for great holiday deals on social media. Unaware consumers are then tricked into clicking on them, entering in credit card numbers, names, addresses, etc. unknowingly becoming the victim of a cyber crime. Avoid this scam:

  • Do not click on any sites you are unfamiliar with in your social media feed
  • Beware of third-party sites and outside vendors on familiar sites—many of these lead
    to fraudulent sites that will steal your info

As the holidays kick-off, it’s important to be aware while shopping online. Follow these tips and always err on the side of caution if you’re not sure about a phone call, an email or a website.

All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated company in Stuart, Florida. We’re committed to helping you protect yourself from ID theft. We provide full-service shredding and destruction to business and residential customers throughout the Treasure Coast as well as Okeechobee, Indian River, Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Give us a call today or fill out this form to find out how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Mobile Shredding. All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated on-site document destruction company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.

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