With the festive season on its way, it’s important for consumers to prepare in advance, as with the joy and festivities comes the dangers of falling prey to scams.
Here are a couple of common scams and how you can avoid them:
During the festive season, it’s common to get in the spirit and feel a little more giving. There are scammers who know this and often take advantage of this. They will do their research and ask you to donate to charities that are close to your heart.
How to Avoid it
To avoid falling prey to scams like these, be sure to check out the websites and social presence of the charity they’re asking you to donate to. Avoid cash donations, gift cards or forced donations. Always check for a physical address and contact details for verification.
It’s a good idea to contact the charity directly before making a donation, especially to verify the payment details that have been provided. Some scammers may pressure you into setting up a debit order, but hold off on doing so until you’ve done your research.
Another popular scam that increases during the festive season is the competition scam. You may get a dodgy SMS or email claiming you’ve won a competition you’ve never entered. During the festive season, we’re especially forgetful, so it’s easy to fall for this.
They will request that you contact them via a specific number to collect the prize and pay a small amount for tax purposes before you can claim your prize. Once you’ve paid, they’ll vanish.
How to Avoid it
To avoid such scams, don’t trust these messages and be careful. Whether it’s an SMS, email, or message via social media. And never make any payments to claim any sort of prize. Never give out your personal information, like your ID number or bank details, in such cases. Remember: A prize should be free and never cost you anything.
Debt Collection Scams
Another big scam during this time is fraudsters trying to access your financial records. You should always be extra careful when someone contacts you claiming to be an official, a debt collector or someone with authority trying to demand payment on outstanding debt.
They can also claim to be a debt review service agency from a court or a business representative. Many of these types of people will offer false promises to get your information, such as getting you out of debt, massive loan offers, reducing your debt or removing your debt review flag.
How to Avoid it
At this time of year, it is important to be on high alert at all times. Especially if anyone demands you make payments upfront or threatens you with legal action. Most of the time, this is a tactic to get you to act out of fear and comply with the scam.
If anyone calls you repeatedly at odd hours, block them. If the fraudsters have access to your personal information, such as your financial records or activity, it’s important to inform your financial institution immediately.
How can Debtline help?
The festive season doesn’t have to be spooky or a field of scams. If you know what to look for and how to address it, you can easily avoid scams and safely enjoy the festivities. If you’re having concerns regarding debt, then you can always consult the Debtline team.
If you are looking for professional assistance, then you can contact the Debtline team via the website by filling in the contact form to request a free callback. The expert team of NCR-registered debt counsellors is there to assist in getting you debt-free.