Online Holiday Scam and How to Avoid Them

The holiday shopping season is the time of frenzy. Many consumers are going online with their plastic credit cards in hand to buy presents for their loved ones or clients. People are also rushing to traditional stores to take advantage of the special sales. This is the time of year when the retail industry makes its profit. But unfortunately, it is also a time when thieves profit from mistakes made by the buying public.

Holiday crime is an unfortunate byproduct of a time of giving. You may have customers or clients who are getting excited about holiday shopping and are forgetting to be cautious. You can help yourself and these valuable business associates by taking these precautions.


  1. Guard The Card

Thieves do not want your credit card, but they crave your credit card information. Your cyber defense may be solid, but that does not mean that a clever Internet thief cannot break into your suppliers’ or vendors’ websites. You can protect your credit card information by not storing any of it on a purchasing site. You are not offending your suppliers; you are simply being careful.

  • Be careful using prepaid credit cards. These don’t have personal information on them, making it easy for someone to steal card information and use it without any repercussions. Read more in this recent Wall Street Journal article.
  • Never provide personal or login information on emails.
  • Activate an alert that notifies you whenever your credit card is used.
  1. Be Cautious with Shipping- UYBJ (Use Your Best Judgement)

Be careful with shipping companies during this holiday season. Sneaky vandals can easily slip in as bogus shipping companies. The Better Business Bureau advises caution whenever you receive an email or text message that includes a tracking link. That is the door criminals will use to get to your personal information. And if the message or the email looks suspicious, it is dangerous. Take a moment and check with the shipping company whether they sent the information.

You must verify the integrity of shipping information. It means looking at the vendor’s website, call the vendor directly and search the Better Business Bureau to determine if it is a legitimate company. Only trust a legitimate organization with any banking or personal identity information, or UYBJ—Use Your Best Judgement.

  1. Gone Phishing

Someone is baiting a hook to catch you. Mobile devices are common areas for these expeditions. A VPN on your mobile device will protect your location information. Instead of calling the phone number of an unfamiliar sender, do a web search on the telephone number and the message content. You can protect your mobile phone by setting the software to update automatically. The updates will give additional protection.

Multi-factor authentication, which requires an extra layer of protection by entering an additional code to access your accounts, is helpful. This can include scanning the fingerprint of anyone seeking to enter the confidential territory. It makes it extremely difficult for unauthorized people to access your business accounts.

The suggestions we made above are not just for the holiday season. These can be part of a New Year’s resolution to add further security to you your business accounts and permit you to make viable suggestions to your clients and customers. Do not underestimate the devious behavior of those seeking to rob you on the Internet. This is a multimillion-dollar business, and your information is gold to the thieves. Common sense and vigilance will thwart their efforts.