I just realized there are 41 days left until Christmas. It’s a scary thought. Where did the year go? Better yet, what will the end of the year bring? One thing is certain, the holiday season will bring out scammers. With that in mind, here are the first two entries from this year’s “12 Scams of Christmas” list.
#12 — Soggy Security
’Tis the season for bad little hackers and scammers to take advantage of your computer’s outdated apps and programs. Software updates can be a major pain, but they’re a necessary part of maintaining a healthy computer system. Let the updates go and your computer becomes much like an old pair of socks with a hole or two.
Here are three tips to help keep your holidays merry and bright while ensuring your electronic devices run smoothly.
- If an update is issued for your device, install it.
- Only download apps, software, and updates from reputable sources.
- Ensure that a website has a good reputation by using a service such as Web of Trust. This is a free online service that lets site visitors rate each website they visit. It doesn’t slow down your browser, and could save you from making a costly mistake on a fraudulent website that looks legitimate.
#11 – The Mystery Shopper
Who wouldn’t like to have a little extra cash for the holidays? If you happen to be one of those people who doesn’t mind the crowds, consider a part-time job as a mystery shopper. Just remember, these part-time jobs can be a great way to make money, or an expensive mistake.
Want to get paid to shop a massage? Done! Eat haute cuisine? Stay at fancy hotels? No problem. All of these opportunities are open to the mystery shopper. But, mystery shoppers do not typically make a lot of money. Nor do they get paid in advance to make purchases.
One popular twist on the scam involves an assignment to evaluate money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Often, a fake mystery shopper service will charge a fee for training or registration. This should be a warning sign that you’re being scammed. For more information on how to become a mystery shopper without getting scammed, visit SecretShopper.com.