Christmas is nearly here again!!
It’s a special time of year for many people for many reasons -many enjoy the festivities, decorations, and the holiday spirit, whilst others simply enjoy the act of giving, whether that be in terms of presents or donating money to their favorite charity too.
Unfortunately, there are many donation scams, and they are certainly far more prevalent at this time of year as scammers realise that many people are, perhaps, far more generous around the Christmas period.
Donating to charity is a very worthwhile cause so please protect yourself from giving to online donation scams, several of which circulate on the Internet.
The majority of online donation scams will arrive on your doorstep via spam email messages and fraudulent posts in online forums.
They will be asking for donations, often using the names of well-known and legitimate charities, or disaster victims and survivor funds.
Such emails often provide links to fake websites that have been designed to appear to be official.
Also, such phishing techniques can be employed over the phone, so it’s wise to be skeptical of phone calls asking for donations to charitable causes too.
AVOID XMAS DONATION SCAMS
Here are 11 useful tips to help you avoid those Christmas donation scams –
- Ensure that your computer is secure by utilising a firewall and anti-virus.
- Ensure your operating system is kept up to date with the latest patches and fixes.
- Implement spam filters to minimise the chances of receiving unsolicited email.
- Use the Microsoft Phishing Filter or other protection software.
- Be wary of unsolicited email from charitable organisation which ask for money. Don’t click on any links or enter any personal information.
- Don\’t reply to solicitations at all – search out who you wish to donate to yourself.
- If you receive an email request from a charity that you would in fact like to support then go to their website by manually typing their address into your Internet browser, rather than by clicking a link in the email message.
- Double-check the spelling of the organisation’s website, and get into the habit of always looking at the actual Internet address (for example, ‘http://www.redcross.org’) before you continue browsing a website. Spoofed websites often use deliberate, easily overlooked misspellings to deceive users.
- Be wary of emails that claim to attach photos of disaster victims or areas – these attachments could be infected with computer viruses or worse.
- If you provide your credit card number or personal information to a charity-related Web site, make sure the site uses legitimate site certificates and that there is a written policy about protecting personal information.
- Keep up to date on the latest online scams by visiting Scam Types dot Com and through other trusted technology news providers, government agencies, and other professional sources.