‘Tis the Season to be Wary

Avoiding Seasonal Scams

For most people, the holiday season is a time for good will and giving. For some, however, it’s a season for illegally collecting credit card numbers or selling stolen goods. In the current AARP Bulletin, Sid Kirchheimer, in his article called Holiday Hoaxes, has five suggestions for protecting your money and your identify during this critical time period.

Don’t purchase gift cards from store display racks. Thieves can easily copy or use portable scanners to read the codes under the scratch-off strips. After replacing the cards, they later use toll-free numbers to check to see if the cards were activated and for how much, then spend your money before you can use it. To be safe, purchase those cards from a store’s customer service counter or from their website.

Delete any email purporting to announce a greeting from an unnamed “friend,” “admirer” or “webmaster.” It could contain a malware link or attachment. If you receive one of these greetings, go to the card company’s website and check the confirmation code that should appear on the email. Legitimate notifications include this confirmation code.

Don’t click on emails about an “undeliverable” package. Instead, locate the phone number of the delivery service and call it directly to inquire. Otherwise, you may be tricked into making an expensive overseas call that lets the scammer get a part of what you pay!

Ignore email solicitations and be suspicious of fundraising phone calls. Check out a charity’s legitimacy with an online search or phone call, and ask for printed material. Never give out your credit card number to someone who calls you.

When buying gifts online, never provide a credit card number before you carefully read the web address. A secure address begins with “https” instead of “http.” The “s” stands for security. Remember that there are many copycat websites out there that will try to trick you into believing that they are the “real thing.”

How secure is your POS System?   If you have questions about this extremely important aspect of your business, we are here to help. Call us at 800-672-4806 or email us.

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