The festive season is on the horizon and most of you have probably already set your countdown clocks in motion. In a few more days most of you will be on the road to your holiday destination. While you are enjoying the sea breeze and much deserved relaxation it is important to be mindful that con artists don’t take holidays. The festive season is a scammer’s busiest time of the year. Now is as good a time as any to know what the most used festive scams are and how you can avoid being conned during the holiday season.
Con artists are known for cooking up ingenious ploys over the festive season period as this is when most unsuspecting victims will be eager to spend their hard-earned cash and bonuses on gifts, travel and other luxuries.
If you are using a Classifieds website over the festive season you should be on the lookout for these Top 3 Festive scams:
- Prize Scam: This applies to our Love Mail users. The scammer will send you an sms making it look like it comes from Love Mail, Telling you you have won a prize. The SMS will look something like this “Lovemail.co.za Fineboy2011: Your IP address won PowerballSA/Nationallottery the sum of R350.000.Ref No: N15530.Contact Mike Collins *********.Fax:**********”. We urge our users not to fall for any of these types of messages and to please let us know immediately should they receive such a message so we can block that user. You can report via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember: If you haven’t entered a competition you can’t be a winner.
- Timeshare / Holiday Accommodation Scam: Some criminals are exploiting potential tourists through falsely advertising holiday accommodation / timeshare on the internet via classifieds adverts and requesting deposits to secure bookings. They advertise a unit in an exclusive resort below market value and basically con unsuspecting users into paying them a deposit for a unit that does not exist. Remember to double check if the unit being advertised is actually owned by the advertiser. Don’t pay for something you are not 100% sure about. Read more in this post about the Holiday Accommodation Scam.
- Non-Service Delivery Scam: A scammer advertises that he / she installs wendy houses, builds swimming pools or delivers another form of construction service. They lure users into paying them a deposit after promising to deliver the service. They either don’t pitch up to deliver the service or they pitch up and finish the pool / wendy half way / construction project half way and vanish into thin air. Check the reputation of the company / person promising to deliver the service before paying them any form of a deposit. If the company has only been existing for the past 3 months to a year, tread lightly. If you have been a victim of a scam like this or want to report a suspicious person attempting this scam, please report the scam / scammer to our Customer Care Department via e-mail at email@example.com.
We hope you have found these tips useful. Remember: Be Smart. Be Savvy. Be Safe.
For more posts about scams, check out our Junk Mail Safety & Security Page on the Junk Mail Blog. You will find a lot of useful information there.