Whether it’s a ping of a text or notification that “you’ve got mail”, don’t let the “Ho, ho ho,” or jolly red suit deceive you. As much as we love the big guy, scammers are taking our adoration and using St. Nick in the most recent holiday SMiShing scam, the Bad Santa Scam!
Preying on the wishes of our children and the possibility that they’d even catch a glimpse of Santa this year, scammers are contacting consumers this holiday season with the “key” to giving children the most amazing gift they could ask for, a personal handwritten letter from Santa.
What kid, who believes in Santa, wouldn’t want the slightest bit of proof that Santa is real? Reeling parents in with an unsolicited message, scammers are promising them a personalized letter at the low cost of $20 or sometimes even FREE. All you need to do is click on the link they’ve sent, freely give your personal and financial information, and you’re on your way to sugar plum and candy cane bliss…or so you thought.
Before you realize you’re never getting Santa’s personalized letter, your identity, personal and financial information has been stolen, you’re out $20 or more, and your child’s Santa dreams have been crushed.
Don’t let a Bad Santa ruin your Christmas. Be aware that this scam and similar scams like it are out for one thing, your personal or financial information. As busy as we are during this time, don’t be fooled with a deal or opportunity of making this the best Christmas yet. Here are a few tips that will keep you safe this holiday season:
•Do not share personal or financial information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails, unless you’ve verified that they are a reputable agency or company.
•Hang-up the phone if you suspect that you are being scammed. Research the so-called company, agency, or charity and contact them directly to confirm the campaign.
• If you suspect that you may have been a victim of the Bad Santa Scam or a similar scam this holiday season, please report it to the FCC.