‘Tis the season to be jolly (careful)

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

It’s quite probably the case that 2020 has seen more online shopping than ever so, as Christmas approaches, the following reminders are worth keeping in mind.

Purchase from known sites and stores – don’t fall into the trap of searching for a product and clicking on the top link, or get lured into an impulse purchase from a social media advert without checking out the validity of the site and offer.

You may well be waiting on deliveries but if you receive an email, text or phone call regarding an undelivered parcel, again make every effort to validate the content via means which are independent of the communication – e.g. look for original tracking details from the actual sender (you can track Amazon deliveries via their site and app), contact the sender to confirm the courier used, contact the courier directly, etc.

One of the alarming developments we are seeing now is the double-hit; an approach which claims to be from a parcel company which may then ask you for some personal details. There is then a subsequent call claiming to be from the fraud department of your bank explaining that there has been some suspicious activity on your account. They will describe how this will be the likely result of a phishing approach and describe the call or email you have already received.

The caller then asks you to transfer your funds into a secure account to avoid further fraudulent activity – this is the point in time where you are actually being robbed.

Remain vigilant, sceptical, and seek independent confirmation wherever possible to avoid becoming a victim of such approaches.

You are always welcome to check with us if you suspect an email – we would much rather have the conversation before the ill-fated click than after.

This is the latest in the “May contain nuts” series of short articles discussing familiar topics which we should all revisit once in a while.