12 tips to stay scam-safe this Christmas

Scammers are more likely to catch you off guard during Christmas, here are some tips on how to stay scam-safe this Christmas period.

1. Number spoofing

Be aware of text messages that appear to be from legitimate organisations or businesses telling you to click on links or give up personal information. If in doubt contact the organisation directly.

2. Tech support scams

Never install software on your computer, allow remote access or give away personal information without contacting the organisation directly.

3. Fake bank emails asking for sensitive information

Remember your bank will never email you asking you for your internet password, credit card details or identity documents.

4. Unusual forms of payment

Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay using gift cards, iTunes vouchers or prepaid debit cards. These payment methods cannot be traced and you won’t get your money back.

5. Free gift cards or prizes 

Never respond to pop-up ads, emails or text messages offering free gift cards or prizes. These are a ploy to get your personal information that can later be used for identity theft.

6. Downloading apps

Beware when downloading apps, some look very official but could be malicious and designed to steal your personal information, including passwords. Do your research so you understand what the app will be accessing.

7. Fake shipping notifications

These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware onto your computer to steal your identity and passwords. Contact the carrier directly to confirm shipping information.

8. Online shopping apps

When using these apps, make sure you have installed the latest software and updates. Criminals use weaknesses in software to attack your devices and steal your personal information.

9. Using public Wi-Fi networks

Avoid sending or receiving valuable information when connected to public W-Fi networks. Scammers often target insecure networks.

10. Socialising online

Online forums are a great way to stay in touch during the Christmas period, but you never know who is watching. Be careful about the personal information you share online and who you allow to see it.

11. Two-Factor authentication

Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. This extra security makes it harder for scammers to access your online accounts by pretending to be you.

12. Scammers don’t take holidays

Most of us take holidays around Christmas, but scammers don’t. Stay alert and if something looks suspicious, don’t click, don’t reply and report it.

More information

  • There’s more information on how to tell the difference between scams and genuine contact from us here