The pandemic is changing the way we celebrate the holidays. But even if we’re not all gathering around the table, it’s still a good time to communicate with family and friends. When you do, consider sharing tips for avoiding cyber scams and protecting finances. Scammers are hard at work trying to take advantage of the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, as well as the generosity and distraction of the holiday season.
Due to public health concerns, many of us will be shopping online this year. Make sure you’re shopping from reputable sites and protect your personal information. Lock your devices, use strong passwords, and limit how much personal information you share on social media.
Giving to charity
Don’t let scammers take advantage of your generosity and empathy this holiday season. To avoid charity scams, be careful about requests for donations. Request something in writing or visit the charity’s website to make sure your money is going to the right place.
Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to con people into giving up their money. They are coming up with new types of fraud related to fake vaccines, test kits, bogus cures, or treatments. And if you know someone who is behind on their mortgage or rent due to the pandemic, check out our mortgage and housing assistance portal to learn about options that may help them stay in their home.
If you are a financial caregiver, beware of errand helper scams that have popped up during this time. Download the CFPB’s Managing Someone Else’s Money guides to read tips to protect your loved ones from financial abuse and scams.
During this time of uncertainty, knowing about possible scams is a good first step toward preventing them. Share this information with family and friends by email or over video chat. You may even help prevent a scam while you’re celebrating safely.