As Christmas approaches, it is common to see an increase in online shopping in preparation for the holidays. However, it is important to be aware and prioritize security, as this period is also conducive to an increase in online scam attempts, fraud, and fake advertisements. In 2023 alone, 80,000 people have already been victims of online scams in Brazil, with the Southeast region being the most affected. And don’t think that those affected are just grandmas, the majority of fraud victims are men (73%), of which 71% are up to 31 years old.
However, shopping online is, without a doubt, easier and more comfortable, making it unnecessary to be careful when the objective is to make you feel 100% safe in your digital life. A good protective practice is to stay informed, so check out some of the main online scams that happen most at Christmas!
Fake shopping websites
One of the most common online scams during Christmas is the creation of fake shopping websites, which look like legitimate online stores, and serve to deceive and steal customers’ payment information. To avoid them, you need to pay attention to signs, such as texts with spelling errors, prices far below the competition, and website URLs with wrong characters, for example.
Fake travel packages
Another common fraud is the offer of travel packages for Christmas or New Year’s Eve carried out by fake companies. In this case, the reservation is never made and the consumer’s money is stolen, leaving the customer without a vacation or money. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the legitimacy of the company and the website that is selling the packages to make sure it is not a scam.
Scams involving Pix
Online scams involving Pix are also very common at Christmas and can occur in several ways. Both in the sale of products on marketplaces, such as Facebook, and through requests for donations to false charities. When purchasing using Pix, make sure to always use the code sent by the official payment platform, never paying directly to the seller. And in the case of donations, search for the name of the institution and the ways it accepts receiving them, to know if the request is legitimate or a scam.
Another common online scam during Christmas is sending fake delivery messages, requesting personal information or additional payment to release the package. The goal is to steal personal information or money from victims. Delivery payment must be made during the purchase and, if there is a problem, the store will contact you through official means, not via WhatsApp or SMS messages.
Finally, fake promotions on social networks or shopping sites are another common type of fraud, and serve to attract and steal victims‘ personal information. Therefore, it is better to avoid clicking on ads with prices that are far below reality or buying from unknown stores.
Avoid scams by investing in cybersecurity
Shopping online is a convenient way to prepare for the holidays, however, there are risks. Being attentive and informed are ways to take precautions, but investing in a robust cybersecurity system is essential to obtain greater protection and guarantee a good end of the year peaceful and happy. These systems offer essential features to prevent your personal and financial information from falling into the hands of criminals.
Features such as payment protection, for example, offer additional layers of security when carrying out online transactions, ensuring that your data is encrypted and protected against fraud. Ant phishing is another function responsible for identifying and blocking scam attempts that aim to obtain confidential information from users. Safe browsing protects against malicious websites and infected file downloads, preventing you from falling victim to cyber-attacks.