The holidays are a time for family and community, for worship and reflection -- but above all else, they're a time for spending money.
Christmas is like the World Series for a lot of companies -- none more than Amazon, which basically supplies the Christmas presents to everyone in America.
Along with that, however, comes an increased chance for theft -- please see "Home Alone" (and the sequel) for reference.
One scam in particular aims to steal your credit card information by masquerading as Amazon.
Thousands of fake emails have reportedly been sent to Amazon customers, claiming there was a "problem" with a recent order.
The email will ask you to solve the issue by confirming "certain information."
To help convince customers that the issue is legit, there will be a link that looks like it's going to take you to Amazon's website.
But it doesn't. Instead, it takes you to a website made to look like Amazon -- a website that mines all the information you provide.
It asks you to type in your bank details in order to "re-verify" your account.
This is where they get you.
So here's how to spot the scam, and make sure you don't fall for it.
Amazon provided a list of tips on their website to help you help decipher what is or is not a scam.
- They will never ask you for your bank account, credit card, PIN or passwords.
- Check the return address. All emails from Amazon will be sent from an email address ending with one of the following: "@amazon.com," "@amazon.lu" or "@amazon.co.uk."
- Genuine Amazon websites will always end with ".amazon.com" or ".amazon.co.uk."
But above all, according to the website, this is the most important rule:
The best way to ensure that you do not respond to a false or phishing e-mail is to always go directly to your account on Amazon to review or make any changes to your orders or your account.
Consumer rights expert Mary Bach told The Daily Mail that Amazon provides an especially fertile hunting ground for scammers because "so many people right now are using Amazon."
Customers implicitly trust such large and popular websites, making them especially vulnerable.
Citations: Daily Mail