It’s official. “The Holidays” are here, and unfortunately, that also means we need to be extra cautious about the insane scams that are out there — yes, even in Idaho.

Whether you’re leaving your home and traveling to see loved ones, or simply making an increased number of online purchases for gifts, there’s a lot we need to pay attention to so that we don’t get scammed by the terrible people trying to ruin the holidays.

I’ve been doing a considerable amount of research — diving into the best tips and practices from the F.B.I. and a variety of different blogs, credit unions, and security companies about protecting yourselves from these scams. Below are the most common scams and the best tips for avoiding them 👇

Be mindful, criminals and scammers understand that it’s the busiest time of year, and they will take full advantage of that. They know people leave their homes. They know people are spending more money.

They know people are traveling. They know people are (unfortunately) less observantly making more purchases online. So, they will do everything in their power to trick you.

Overall rules of thumb...

  • Always be cautious and trust your instincts
  • Ask yourself if something is legit. If you feel off, you’re probably right and something is off
  • Be on the double-lookout for phishing attempts
  • Look for spelling errors and website URLs that have unnecessary periods, hyphens, and underscores
  • Create strong passwords, enable 2-factor authentication, and change passwords regularly
  • Don’t click on links from unknown sources
  • Install anti-virus software and firewalls on your devices
  • Be double cautious with when and how you pay

Here’s a list we compiled of the most common holiday scams and how you can best avoid them 👇

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