NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From your doorstep to your Facebook food, holiday hazards are all around.
According to the Better Business Bureau, thousands of people fall for holiday scams each year.
Between shopping, wrapping and traveling, it’s easy to be “holi-dazed” and let down your guard against scams, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“I was just in a situation this morning where I clicked on a Federal Express email that I simply thought was my package coming,” David Esbjornson said.
In fact, it was a so-called “phishing” email trying to get Esbjornson’s personal information.
“There’s just too much fraud going on,” he said.
“Clickbait” scams are some of the most common, like one email offering a $50 gift card if you click on a link.
“I don’t trust any of that stuff,” Jeryce Knight, of Kingsbridge, said.
“Would you click on this holiday email greeting?” Aiello asked Esbjornson.
“I might. I mean, it looks a little bit less suspicious,” Esbjornson responded.
After clicking, it appeared to be a ruse to get his Facebook login information.
“Never click on a link. Never provide information to somebody you don’t know,” said Adam Levin, author of “Swiped.”
Another scam making the roads is an offer for a job as a “secret shopper,” but first you have to deposit a check and send money to third parties.
“They want you to deposit the check into your account and send it to two other people. I thought, ‘that’s not a good thing, this is a scam,'” one victim Jeanna Baker said.
“Whenever there’s a situation where you’ve got to pay something or you’ve got to give somebody else back some money, that’s also a big red flag,” said Tim Maniscalo, from the Better Business Bureau.
Sophisticated websites that offer deep discounts with a catch should also be cause for concern.
“It said we cannot accept credit cards because we want to save you the sales tax, so we only take gift cards from Amazon,” another victim Daniel Aleuy said.
The Federal Trade Commission said that’s a warning sign. Fake websites want payment by untraceable gift cards.
Many of the scams target older people who may be less tech savvy and more likely to click a suspicious link and share sensitive information.