Beware holiday email scammers
More and more, the holidays can feel too much like a money grab. And it's not just your kids who are finding new ways to get your money. Con artists are cashing in on feelings of good cheer, too.
• The shipping scam. An email pops up saying that “Your parcel has been returned to the UPS office nearest to you.” It asks you to click on the link to provide a mobile number. It has a tracking number.
Susan Rosenberg, public relations manager for UPS in Atlanta, said UPS is not going to send an email asking for a cell phone number out of the blue. Scam artists may phone you to say UPS is waiting to deliver a package but needs your credit card.
She said UPS may send official notification messages on occasion but an official UPS email is rarely going to include attachments. A representative will always provide a tracking number, which you can use on the UPS website. But even that can get tricky; one fraud email that a reader saw had a tracking number.
• Don't be scammed out of $150 or more, if you get a call about computer tech support.
Boots Halstead, 80, took a call from a man in late summer who told her that he was from AMMYY — a software firm. He warned her that her computer had malicious software loaded onto it. “He said it would be dangerous for me to use my computer and it was hacked,” she said.
Halstead, who lives in Lansing, Mich., told the man to call back when her daughter was home. The daughter followed some of his directions until he asked for a credit card. That's when she realized it was a scam. She did not give the credit card number and later paid a legitimate outfit to clean up the computer mess created during her encounter with fake tech support.
The Federal Trade Commission announced a crackdown last month on six alleged tech support scams. Thousands of consumers were allegedly tricked into paying for removing bogus viruses.
Scammers were charging $49 to $450 for services.
• Don't let the Grinch steal the spirit of giving. Scammers create fictitious charities, including “Sandy scams.”
Fake victims of disasters attempt to use social media to dupe generous people. The same is true around the holidays. Don't donate to unknown individuals who need help “buying gifts.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shale gas violations down as DEP steps up inspections
- Macy’s prepares outlet stores
- Hackers have wide reach
- ‘Rank and yank’ doesn’t meet all expectations
- Fund fees within investor control
- Week yields lessons on China
- Trib Total Media puts 9 Western Pa. newspapers up for sale
- Marcellus shale drillers, Pa. settle 3 cases of fouling water supplies, pay $374K
- Mylan shareholders approve $34 billion hostile takeover bid for Perrigo
- Allstate patents driver analysis
- S.W. Randall Toyes & Giftes of Pittsburgh’s owner finds joy in toys