In this two-minute read, we look at some of the scams targeting Christmas shoppers in Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford and how to avoid them.
Which classic festive song opens with the line, “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.”?
Easy, eh? It’s Band Aid’s “Do They Know it’s Christmas?”.
And while no one should be scared during the festive season, we should all be aware of one set of people hell-bent on cheating people out of Christmas cheer – scammers.
Scams are more prevalent now than ever due to the pandemic driving more people online to buy gifts and the relentless pace of modern life meaning we’re all often rushing.
And fraudsters thrive at this time of the year. So be wary of these tricks they’re pulling below.
1) Unexpected e-cards
If an anonymous e-card pops up in your inbox, err on the side of caution and don’t open it. It’s a common tactic scammers use to infect your computer with viruses. Always use a good anti-virus product across your devices and check out www.cyberstreetwise.com for more helpful advice.
2) Online bargains
Buying things online has become second nature to many of us. And there are some great deals to be had. But if a deal looks too good to be true, there’s usually a reason why. Many scammers entice shoppers into handing over financial information to buy cut-price items that don’t exist. Always buy from reputable online retailers, check for reviews, and trust your gut instinct.
3) Ticketing fraud
As the UK eases out of the shackles of the lockdowns, many people want to get out and experience live events again. It’s a great way to treat a friend or family member. But be warned, scammers love ticketing scams – especially ones around supposedly sold-out events. So only buy tickets from reputable websites and always look for secure websites (showing a padlock at the start of their web address).
4) Holiday horrors
According to Action Fraud, one of the UK’s leading websites offering advice to consumers, holiday fraud is rising. This is because overseas travel has been limited for so long and many of us are desperate to get away, especially over Christmas. Watch out for last-minute bargains from companies that won’t accept credit cards and aren’t ATOL or ABTA protected. You can check a travel company’s status with the Civil Aviation Authority.
Thanks for reading, and from all of us at Mackay Property, here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe Christmas.