Watch Out for These 3 Holiday Fraud Threats

Dec 16, 2022Fraud Prevention

It’s no coincidence that the busiest season for shopping coincides with the highest period for fraud. Every day fraudsters target consumers with an array of legitimate seeming propositions. But during the holidays, fraudsters make an extra effort to trick and defraud consumers.

Here are the top three fraud threats coming this season.  

1) Fake Retail Sites 

Seeing an online deal that looks too good to be true? That might be because it is. Fake retail sites are set up to look like real merchants but are illegitimate accounts held by fraudsters. With social media continuing to grow, fake accounts have become increasingly more popular because of how real they can look. Research from the accounting firm, PwC, says that more than 50% of people will be shopping online this holiday season. These fake sites will often utilize real brand names in their URL to seem more legitimate. Buyers will usually receive the goods they ordered but they will be knockoffs and cheap. 8 Holiday Scams And How You Can Avoid Them – Forbes Advisor 

Watch out for: If the domain name or website contains any spelling or punctuation errors, whether the website has a secured URL, or just looks suspicious in general. Buy from websites and brands that you know and trust.  

2) Mystery Shopping 

It is common for people to want to earn a little extra cash during the holiday season. Mystery shopping scams take advantage of this by luring victims into new job opportunities and having them ‘test’ products and services but first they must pay the employers for a fee or license. The fake employer then takes the money, and the job was never actually real.  

Watch out for: Shopping-related jobs that require you to pay your employer first, wiring money to your employer or depositing money on their behalf. 

3) Charity Scams 

Scammers will always find new lows and these charity scams take advantage of your generosity. They know that people are more inclined to give to others in need during the holiday season. Fraudsters will pose as a legitimate charitable organization and steal donations before they are discovered. Oftentimes, this happens through phone or email scams.  

Watch out for: High pressure pitches through phone, email, or in person. Go directly to a charity or organizations website if you wish to donate. 8 Holiday Scams And How You Can Avoid Them – Forbes Advisor   


Remember, HAPO will never ask for your PIN, CVV code or online banking information. If you every receive a call from HAPO asking you to provide this information, hang up and call us back directly at 509-943-5676 or after hours at 844-436-1752.  

Check out our  fraud prevention library for more ways to protect yourself and your family from fraud. 


Source: Home - Advanced Fraud Solutions

Stephanie Waechter

Stephanie Waechter

HAPO Content Creator | HAPO Community Credit Union



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Fraud Prevention / Identity Theft