The 12 Scams of
Protect your family from these common holiday
Irving, Texas (Dec. 18, 2014) — The
holidays are some of the busiest times of the year for
everyone, including shoppers, homeowners, business owners
and even criminals. Unsavory characters choose the holidays
to prey upon busy shoppers and unwary homeowners during this
often hectic time.
The Electronic Security
Association (ESA) wants to inform you of some of the
most common holiday scams criminals use to harm you and your
family, and provide you with some tips to stay safe.
Unattended packages left on doorsteps make for tempting
targets for thieves. Require a signature for any packages
delivered to your home, or have them taken to a nearby
secure service location.
Robbers posing as delivery
Another potential threat is criminals
posing as delivery workers. Intruders have been known to
knock on doors claiming to have a package to deliver, and
then breaking into the home when the homeowner comes to open
the door. For your safety, never accept any package you are
not expecting. You may also consider installing a video
surveillance system from a
trusted security company found here, so that you can see
who is at the door from a safer area of your home.
Criminals have been known to take advantage of the holiday
spirit by soliciting donations for fake charities. Make sure
the charity in question is reputable before making your
donation by researching it online. Some scam sites will use
web addresses nearly identical to legitimate charities to
deceive you into making a donation, so be observant.
Scam artists taking
advantage of elders
Some scam artists will
take advantage of the trusting nature of the elderly.
Criminals have called the homes of elders posing as
relatives in need of emergency financial help, such as help
affording travel expenses home for the holidays. Stay in
contact with family members throughout the holiday season
and talk to them about any major expenses they plan to pay
for over the holiday. If you receive a call like this, be
sure to confirm with other relatives that it is legitimate
before providing any financial information.
vendors have been known to sell fraudulent gift cards online
during the holiday season. Be sure to buy all gift cards
either from the store’s official website or its physical
Mystery shopper scams
fraudulent “mystery shopper” opportunities often strike
during the holiday season, preying on people looking for a
little extra spending money. Be sure and research any
mystery shopper job offer for legitimacy, and never wire
money as part of any mystery shopping
Scam artists taking advantage of
Criminals have been known
to use automated phone calls or text messages to “phish” for
sensitive information including credit card numbers and bank
passwords. Often times they will pose as financial
institutions warning you of problems with your account.
Remember that any bank or financial institution would never
call you to ask for your information; they would already
Several recent high
profile data breaches, including Target and Home Depot, show
that not even major retail chains are safe from hackers.
Using cash, cards not connected to a bank account and
monitoring your bank statements frequently are the best ways
to stay safe in case a store’s data is
Criminals can use ATM
skimming devices on bank machines and gas pump card readers
so they can copy card information for their own uses. Be
sure and check ATMs for tampering, and monitor your bank
These days our phones and
tablets are much more than just communication devices: they
are electronic keys, home control devices, wallets, bank
cards, checkbooks and so much more. A thief can easily gain
access to your entire digital life and potentially your home
by stealing your phone, so be sure to keep it close at hand
when out shopping. Lock your phone with a password or
biometric access system in case it is stolen, to minimize
the chance of your data being breached.
by-night web merchants
Every holiday season
there’s at least one “must-have” gift that sends shoppers
scrambling. Scammers will often set up websites offering the
product, often at slashed prices. After raking credit card
information from unsuspecting consumers the sites go down
never to be seen again. Always deal with reputable, well-
known vendors when shopping online.
Digital storage has come
so far down in price that complimentary USB drives are often
included in gift bags. Using them however can be risky, as
they could be pre-loaded with malware that could compromise
the safety of your device.
Finally, it is important to remain vigilant during the
holiday season so that you do not fall victim to any of the
scams outlined above. ESA recommends choosing a professional
security company for your home or business security needs
that is capable of delivering high-quality products and
services. To find an ESA member company in your area and
learn more about home security, please visit www.Alarm.org.
You can't replace the feeling of
security. Alarm.org is an online resource for consumers
interested in electronic security. Here you'll find
everything you need to know about choosing, installing and
operating an electronic security system. You will also find
security facts, news and tips that are relevant and
important to you. Alarm.org is powered by the Electronic Security Association
(ESA). ESA is the largest professional trade association
in the U.S. that represents the electronic life safety,
security and integrated systems industry. ESA is made up of
a select group of trusted security companies.