The 12 Scams of Christmas

This message is Monday 10th December 2018 for Windsor. National Trading Standards, Scams Team

The 12 Scams of Christmas, December 2018

  1. Subscription trap; this scam offers a free gift or trial offer. If you pay postage and Packing to receive the ‘gift’ beware as you may. Without realising it, set up a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) allowing the company to take any amount out of your bank account at any time.

  2. Bogus charities; Fake charities prey on the victim sense of good will at this time of the year, and their marketing techniques can be very convincing. Make sure that the marketing you have received is genuine if you aren’t sure-don’t take the risk.

  3. Pop-up shops; whilst pop-up shops tend to appear more online, sometimes, especially at Christmas time, pop-up shops will temporarily take over closed down high street stores, and often sell counterfeit and/or faulty items. Be cautious when shopping in these stores.

  4. HM Revenue & Customs; Criminals phone unsuspecting members of the public and claim they have over/under - paid their tax. Beware-never give out your bank details and hang up the phone immediately.

  5. Bank scam; Criminals phone members of the public and claim to be calling from their bank to report ‘suspicious activity’ on your account. If you receive a call like this hang up immediately, wait 15 minutes, or use another phone, and call 101.

  6. Metropolitan Police scam; Similar to the bank scam, criminal phone members of the public claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police reporting ‘suspicious bank activity’ Hang up immediately, wait 15 minutes, or use another phone, and call 101.

  7. E-greeting(online) cards; Be careful when sending online greetings cards as they can contain malware which can find address and books and bank details which are stored on your computer.

  8. Gifts cards; Gift cards are ideal for that hard-to-buy for person, but be aware if you are buying these online, as gift cards are easy to illegitimately replicate and could cause embarrassment to your friends and family when they try and use your gift…. And they are fake.

  9. Seasonal travel scams; Beware of these too good to be true seasonal travel offers. Criminals are waiting for you to click on their ‘offer’ links so they can start infecting your computer in hope of obtaining your bank details. Be sure to only trusted online travel agents.

  10. Delivery scams; With many gifts being sent via postal service at this time of year it isn’t a surprise if you come home and there is a ‘sorry we missed you! Please call the number below to re-arrange delivery’ card waiting for you. However, be very careful to check it is genuine as fake delivery cards are being delivered by criminals and the phone number you are asked to call is a very high premium rate telephone number. You could run a phone bill of hundreds of pounds waiting for someone who is never going to answer.

  11. Smishing; Criminals use text messages pretending to be bank requesting an immediate response or else your account will be locked. However, whilst some banks do send text messages to alert you of suspicious activity you should never respond by text. Contact your bank on a number you know is legitimate.

  12. Romance scams; Only use well established and trusted dating websites. Do not click on links from someone you do not know or trust. Do not communicate with anyone you find on these sites away from the site as you could be putting yourself into a vulnerable position.