Republic of the Philippines
National Police Commission
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City
ACG-CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN NR 173: Watch out for holiday season scams
Reference Number: ACG-CSB 090419172
The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) and classified as “Restricted” pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security Manual s.2010-01 p. 22 and p.129.
Scammers will take advantage of special days or major events like Christmas to fleece people of their money or personal information,
The common holiday season scams people should look out for:
Online shopping scams: Scammers will set up fake online stores or post goods for sale in buy‑swap-sell groups or online classified sites to trick people into buying items that do not exist. Many of these websites offer luxury items such as popular brands of clothing, jewelry and electronics at very low prices. Sometimes you will receive the item you paid for but they may be fake. At times you may receive nothing at all. A newer version of online shopping scams involves the use of social media platforms to set up fake online stores.
Online travel scams: It is a scheme for making money by deceptive, dishonest or fraudulent means. Victims are told by e-mail that they have won a free or incredibly cheap trip. However, these trips often have hidden costs. Tours that are advertised as free may not include airfare to the departure point or hotel accommodation. The recipient of the “free trip” is required to make these extra reservations through a specific company. In these instances, the costs are much higher than market price
Fake Charities Scam: Fake charities are among the most popular holiday scams, soliciting from consumers over the phone, email and through direct mail. Scammers will pose as either agents of legitimate well-known charities or create their own charity name. This includes charities that conduct medical research or support disease carriers and their families. They may also pose as individuals needing donations for health or other reasons. Scammers set up fake websites which looks similar to those operated by real charities. Some scammers may call or email you and request for donations.
Be cautious every time you get an email and ask you to click on a link. Exercise due be diligence specially this holiday season as you are making online purchases. Make it a season of awareness to everything around you. Do not easily trust. Do not keep the threat of fraud from allowing you to enjoy this season. Have a Merry Christmas and do your best to keep your information safe.
All PNP personnel as well as the public are advised to follow the tips in order to avoid the risk of brought by The Holiday Season Scams:
- Go directly to the official website of the hotel, airline, or rental car agency to book your reservations. It should have “HTTPS” in the URL. If you’re not sure
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card to book online. In case the website is phony, you must not give the cybercriminals direct access to your bank account. Many credit card companies offer fraud protection.
- Most legitimate charity websites use .org and not .com extension.
- Never send money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone you do not know or trust.
- Make sure to read all the terms and conditions; avoid all such offers that require hidden fees or taxes;
For additional information, please refer to the following websites:
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