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The 12 Scams of Christmas

The 12 Scams of Christmas 2023

As we enter the festive season, it’s crucial to be vigilant against the ever-evolving landscape of online scams. Our latest post “The 12 Scams of Christmas” looks at the prevalent scams that could dampen your holiday spirit.

1. Sophisticated Phishing Emails

These emails are crafted with advanced techniques such as Artificial Intelligence, making them look almost identical to those from reputable brands. They often lure victims with fake alerts or offers, leading to sites that steal personal information. Always verify the email’s authenticity and avoid clicking on links or attachments from unknown sources. If in doubt “Don’t Click”

2. Social Media Ad Scams

Scammers use social media platforms to post ads for exclusive or hard-to-find items at incredibly low prices. These ads often lead to fake websites where your payment information can be stolen. Always research the seller and look for reviews on independent platforms before making a purchase.

3. Bogus Websites and URL Spoofing

These fake websites are designed to mimic legitimate online retailers, with slight alterations in the URL that can be easily missed. They often offer high-demand goods at low prices to lure victims. Always check for HTTPS in the URL and look for trust seals on the website.

4. Untraceable Payment Methods

Scammers prefer payment methods that are difficult to trace and offer no fraud protection, such as cryptocurrencies, wire transfers, or gift cards. These methods make it almost impossible to recover lost funds. Always use secure and traceable payment methods like credit cards, Revolut, PayPal etc.

5. Mobile App Frauds

Fraudulent mobile apps, often disguised as legitimate shopping apps, can steal personal information or infect your device with malware. These apps might appear in official app stores but often have few downloads and negative reviews. Always verify the app’s legitimacy and read reviews before downloading.

6. Delivery Notification Scams

These scams involve sending fake delivery notifications via email or text, which lead to phishing websites designed to steal personal information. They often create a sense of urgency, claiming a package is waiting for you. The are particularly successful at this time of year when so many people are shopping online and expecting deliveries from various delivery services. Always use the official tracking tools provided by the courier service via their official app or website and not via any links in the notification.

7. Charity Donation Frauds

Scammers set up fake charities, especially during the holiday season, preying on the generosity of people. They often solicit donations through persuasive emails or social media campaigns. Always research the charity using official charity regulator websites before donating.

8. Gift Card Grifts

Gift card scams involve selling discounted gift cards that are either fake or have been previously used. These offers are often found on unofficial websites or through social media ads. Always purchase gift cards directly from official retailers or authorised sellers.

9. Travel Scams

With holiday travel in high demand, scammers offer unrealistically cheap travel deals through fake websites or phishing emails. These scams may involve fake airline tickets, hotel bookings, or holiday packages. Always book travel through reputable agents or direct with airlines and hotels.

10. Fake Product Reviews

Scammers post fake product reviews to promote substandard or non-existent products. These reviews create a false sense of trust and quality. Use well-known review platforms and be sceptical of overly positive reviews for unknown brands or products

11. E-card Email Scams

E-card scams involve sending electronic greeting cards that contain malware or links to phishing sites. These e-cards may appear to be from known contacts but are actually from scammers. Open e-cards only if you are expecting them and verify the sender’s identity.

12. Job Offer Scams

During the holiday season, fake job offers for seasonal positions are common. These scams often ask for personal information upfront or require payment for training or background checks. Legitimate employers will never ask for payment as part of the hiring process.


As we immerse ourselves in the excitement of the holiday season, it’s important to remember that it’s also a time when scammers are particularly active. The ’12 Scams of Christmas 2023′ highlighted above are just a few examples of the cunning tactics used by fraudsters to exploit the festive spirit.

It’s essential to approach holiday shopping and online interactions with a heightened sense of awareness. Always take a moment to assess the legitimacy of an offer, whether it’s an amazing deal on a gift, a charity appeal, or a sudden job opportunity. Remember, scammers prey on the urgency and emotion of the season, often creating scenarios that require immediate action or payment.

Educating ourselves and our loved ones about these scams is a crucial step in safeguarding our personal and financial information. Share this knowledge with friends and family, especially those who may be more vulnerable, such as elderly relatives who might not be as familiar with these deceptive practices.

Moreover, in this digital age, it’s vital to keep our cybersecurity measures up to date. This includes using strong, unique passwords for each online account, enabling multi-factor authentication where available, and keeping our computer and mobile device software updated to protect against malware.

Shop safe, shop secure and shop smart, this Christmas!