Making The Holidays Happen: Holiday Scams

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Scammers are very aware that so many of us are frazzled this time of year and we let our guard down.

If you stop for coffee or lunch don’t pull out your phone or computer to do any online shopping. Avoid using public Wi-Fi. It's accessible to anyone who wants to see what you're doing online. Never enter credit card information, access sensitive email or do online banking with a public Wi-Fi connection.

And while I am thinking about it, never use the same password for your accounts. Easy for a thief to steal information from a shopping or gaming site and then they have access to your other accounts.

A recent survey from DomainTools revealed that almost 40% of the US consumers they spoke with had been victims of cyber phishing scams. Some more than once. Although they also discovered that more than 90% of the respondents are familiar with phishing schemes they still became victims.

Most of us think we are too smart to fall for any of these e-mail schemes but if you own a computer, you’re a target. The big three names, Walmart, Amazon and Target are familiar to us and many of us use their sites regularly.

You get an e-mail from who you think is Amazon with a $50 coupon. They say just click on the link to use the coupon. So, you click! It could be a set up for Malware or a website so similar that you do think it’s Amazon asking for your info. You have been scammed.

Social media also is a trolling ground for scammers. Do not accept a friend request from someone you do not know and don’t post your holiday schedule or trips on line. You don't want thieves to know you will gone the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

And there have been cases where folks are so pleased with themselves that they post a picture of a ticket they just snagged for a concert or sporting event. The thief then recreates a phony ticket using the bar code and sells it on line.

You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.

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