The Holidays are near. With Black Friday just around the corner, it is important to be aware of the current scams so you and your loved ones don’t fall a victim of fraud or identity theft.

Here are three common scams to watch out for:

1. There is no such thing as a free iPhone.
Many online ads or emails may be claiming to be offering a free iPhone or iPad or other high priced electronic item. In 99% of the cases: if it’s too good to be true – it is. Most of these are scams to get people’s information. They may tell you that you just pay the tax, or give them your credit card for shipping or some other small fee. THIS IS A SCAM.

2. Prepaid credit cards or wire transfers.

There are many types of prepaid credit cards. MoneyPak or GreenDot cards are amongst the most popular used in scams.

Many times scammers will offer you an item of value if you pay small fees or taxes, then you simply keep the rest of the money (or the item). This is not safe. They demand that you either wire them the small amount of money, or give them the information off of a prepaid credit card. THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY and THEY WILL KEEP IT. Like stated before – If it’s too good to be true – it is.

Another popular form of this is when you get a phone call threatening your arrest for a warrant or failure to pay a past-due bill. The caller tells you that if you don’t pay them immediately (or very soon after) that you will be arrested and thrown in jail. This is a scam. If the police are going to come arrest you – you are not going to get a courtesy call with a chance to pay past-due money. They will just show up and take care of business.

3. Unexpected Deliveries
A very common spam email these days is a undeliverable package or tracking number with an issue. Thiefs will send out an email saying your package was undeliverable. It may state that it is an iPhone or a large sum of cash or a check. They have you click on a link that has you give them your information.
This is known as phishing. The thief is trying to steal your information. DO NOT GIVE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW. If you EVER have a doubt that the person you are corresponding with is not the real person, stop contact. Do not reply, Do NOT click on any questionable links online. Look up the phone number online or in a phone book for the company you are dealing with (whether it be a bank or shipping company or anyone else) and call their direct line. Verify with someone there that the person that contacted you was really a representative from their company.

Now more than ever, identify theft and fraud are happening – especially over the holiday season. If you have any question or doubt – contact your local law enforcement. The experts at EthernetGeeks can also help you determine if an email or advertisement is real or not. Feel free to contact us for any technology questions or concerns you may have – we are happy to help!

Cheers to a Safe and Happy Holidays from EthernetGeeks!