Christmas scams to look out for

These aren’t the only scams you may come across over the Christmas period (and even throughout the year!). Here are a couple more to keep an eye out for:

Fake temporary job postings.

Beware of fake holiday job postings aiming to exploit the financial strain of the Christmas season. Scammers lure job-seekers with work-from-home or temporary in-person roles, aiming to extract personal information or fees for fake “training” materials.

Refrain from sharing sensitive information until hired and certain of the job’s legitimacy. Hold off on providing banking data, or other personal information in the application phase.

Scrutinise the interview process. Lack of interaction with actual recruiters or managers may signal a scam.

Conduct thorough research on the company. Check for an online presence and reviews.

Malicious holiday apps.

Both Apple and Google’s app stores are filled with free holiday-themed apps where kids can chat with Santa, track his progress from the North Pole, and play Christmas games.

While few of these apps could cause serious damage to your phone or tablet, they may include expensive in-app purchases and excessive advertising or ask for too many permissions on your device.

Tip: Check reviews on holiday apps and try them yourself before giving your kids access. If “free” apps require credit card details or ask for access to your phone’s microphone and camera, you probably want to skip them.

Porch pirates stealing your Christmas deliveries.

Criminals take advantage of the steady rise of online shopping and home delivery during the holiday season to rob people of their packages and payments — with Amazon packages making up a large percentage of stolen goods.

If your holiday packages are going missing, there’s unfortunately not much you can do to get it back unless you have a security camera and proof of the theft (in which case you should contact your local police).

Here’s how to protect your holiday packages from mail thieves:

  • Track your delivery status and request signature on delivery. Most couriers offer some form of “guaranteed” delivery that requires a photo or your signature to release packages. 
  • Fit a doorbell camera system. There are two pretty solid reasons why installing a visible doorbell camera setup may work here. Firstly, should you find yourself the victim of porch theft, you have video evidence of the crime and can show police. Secondly, it acts as a deterrent to any would-be thieves that stroll up your driveway looking for something to take.
  • Get a secure mailbox. You can also look into other delivery options, such as a nearby secure pickup location.

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