How to Avoid being Scammed at Christmas

How to Avoid being Scammed at Christmas

The year 2020 is a crazy year, and email and internet scams promise to be just as crazy. The scammers are singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”. You need to be on the look out as more and more legitimate (and not legitimate) solicitations are sent your way.

Since so many of us are buying online in record numbers this year due to COVID-19 issues, a lot of the scamming is based on targeting the holiday shopper. Over two-thirds of shoppers will do the majority of their shopping online, and for many, it will be the first time. Now the scammers are singing “here comes Santa Claus…”.

Spoofing emails are the rage this year. These emails look just like your favorite online retailer emails and when you are ordering like a maniac trying to get all the kids, your spouse, friends, and grandkids taken care of in time to receive shipment before Christmas – who has time to read every email in detail? That’s what they are counting on. Word to the wise, the Christmas rush is not your friend when using your credit card online at Christmas.

And how about all those supposed non-profit charities that have your email address? November and December are banner months for scammers pretending to be a charity, often one you have already contributed to in the past. Donating to legitimate organizations is great (make sure you always use a credit card in case you need to dispute a fraudulent charge). But do be careful because the scammers and singing “chestnuts roasting over an open fire” and it is not their chestnuts.

Lastly, there are the delivery service scams. You have a package; in fact, you have plenty of packages in transit. There is a problem with one. Little Bobbie might not get his PlayStation on time. You click the link to have a rep call you. Bang. The slick elf on the line is not who you think. Never give your credit card or personal information to a delivery company’s rep or via email to expedite your shipment, or guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. Too many folks have done that in the last few days of the season. Desperation often clouds the mind. Remember, you did not buy the gift from the shipper! Simple right. Statistics prove otherwise.

Here are few tips for you to avoid being scammed. They work year-round but they are especially important this year at Christmas.

  1. As mentioned about – always pay by credit card for easy monitoring and disputing. Do not use a debit card. Some debit cards have better protections than others, but keep it simple and use a credit card.

  2. Want to know if the link the email points to is legit? This is not fool-proof but you can see the link address at the bottom of your screen by hovering with your mouse over the link. Do not click it! If the link does not match the retailer, then bail out. If it does, then proceed with caution, although a phone call to a verified toll-free number could still be your best move.

  3. Don’t order on public wireless access, like at the hamburger joint. Order only at home or work to be safe.

  4. When ordering online, make sure the address bar on the browser has the https:// prefix. If not, bail out immediately. You are not on a secure site.

There are so many other tips that can be shared but these are the top four. Just be careful out there. You don’t want to hear the scammers singing the Halleluiah chorus from Handel’s Messiah when they score off your back account!

And above all, we at PARKERTECHGROUP wish you and yours a happy and safe Merry Christmas and New Year!

As we approach the end of another year, and what a wild ride it was, many business owners are beginning to review the year to see how things went for
them. How were sales? How did the new product launch go? How did the new location perform?
But how many business owners ask the question “Was my IT company, that I rely on so much, actually productive for me this year?”.
Before we go further, we need to clarify that an IT company that is busy for you is not the same as one that is productive for you. Keep that in mind
as your read this article.
Much of what a good IT company, generally known as an MSP (managed services provider), does is behind the scenes. Good data integrity services like
data backups, replication, security, recovery, and automation are one such hidden task. Other tasks such as remote monitoring and management of your
network 24/7 is another. These services, running all the time, are usually only noticeable when there is a problem or when you see the monthly itemized invoice. BTW: if your IT company does not itemize its invoice, you should really find out why. What exactly are you paying for?
So, if your IT company is doing all this for you, are they productive for you?
Not really. What they are doing is preventative in nature. They are protecting you. And that is very good. But all good MSPs protect their clients.
That is MSP 101. What you need to know is how do they make your business and your IT resources productive?

Here are three things to consider:

  1. Is your MSP a Guard or a Scout?
    A guard is someone who stands vigil, he is preventative. A scout is someone who actively moves around to warn you and to help you take advantage of
    opportunities. Does your MSP scout for opportunities for you? Does he seek out savings on IT or ways to make you more productive. In effect, is he a
    consultant for you. Most MSPs will gladly tell you ways to improve your operations, but you might have to corral them because they are busy.
  2. Is your MSP a Resource or a Pain?
    At PARKERTECHGROUP we have inherited many clients that were burned by their former IT company. Besides these new client being skittish of geeks, we
    have noticed a common experience among them – they felt that the former company did not willingly advise them of issues or opportunities. The phrase
    “like pulling eye teeth” epitomizes their stories. We believe consulting is one of the most appreciated services we provide for our clients. We have
    even answered Christmas present tech questions from time to time.
  3. Is your MSP looking for business for you?
    We can all acknowledge that a business referral is the best means of advertising. It is free and it is trusted by the hearer. MSPs often ask their
    business clients to refer them to others. However, not many refer their clients to other clients or businesses on an active basis. We think that’s a
    shame. And we think that is something you need to think about when looking at your MSP relationship.

There are more than these three indicators that your MSP is productive for you, but these hit the target- opportunistic internally for your business,
communicative when you need their advice, and opportunistic externally with referrals. If your current MSP is not doing well on these three factors,
it may be time for a change.

Related Articles

How to Avoid being Scammed at Christmas

The year 2020 is a crazy year, and email and internet scams promise to be just as crazy. The scammers are singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”. You need to be on the look out as more and more legitimate (and not legitimate) solicitations are sent your way.

Since so many of us are buying online in record numbers this year due to COVID-19 issues, a lot of the scamming is based on targeting the holiday shopper. Over two-thirds of shoppers will do the majority of their shopping online, and for many, it will be the first time. Now the scammers are singing “here comes Santa Claus…”.

Spoofing emails are the rage this year. These emails look just like your favorite online retailer emails and when you are ordering like a maniac trying to get all the kids, your spouse, friends, and grandkids taken care of in time to receive shipment before Christmas – who has time to read every email in detail? That’s what they are counting on. Word to the wise, the Christmas rush is not your friend when using your credit card online at Christmas.

And how about all those supposed non-profit charities that have your email address? November and December are banner months for scammers pretending to be a charity, often one you have already contributed to in the past. Donating to legitimate organizations is great (make sure you always use a credit card in case you need to dispute a fraudulent charge). But do be careful because the scammers and singing “chestnuts roasting over an open fire” and it is not their chestnuts.

Lastly, there are the delivery service scams. You have a package; in fact, you have plenty of packages in transit. There is a problem with one. Little Bobbie might not get his PlayStation on time. You click the link to have a rep call you. Bang. The slick elf on the line is not who you think. Never give your credit card or personal information to a delivery company’s rep or via email to expedite your shipment, or guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. Too many folks have done that in the last few days of the season. Desperation often clouds the mind. Remember, you did not buy the gift from the shipper! Simple right. Statistics prove otherwise.

Here are few tips for you to avoid being scammed. They work year-round but they are especially important this year at Christmas.

  1. As mentioned about – always pay by credit card for easy monitoring and disputing. Do not use a debit card. Some debit cards have better protections than others, but keep it simple and use a credit card.

  2. Want to know if the link the email points to is legit? This is not fool-proof but you can see the link address at the bottom of your screen by hovering with your mouse over the link. Do not click it! If the link does not match the retailer, then bail out. If it does, then proceed with caution, although a phone call to a verified toll-free number could still be your best move.

  3. Don’t order on public wireless access, like at the hamburger joint. Order only at home or work to be safe.

  4. When ordering online, make sure the address bar on the browser has the https:// prefix. If not, bail out immediately. You are not on a secure site.

There are so many other tips that can be shared but these are the top four. Just be careful out there. You don’t want to hear the scammers singing the Halleluiah chorus from Handel’s Messiah when they score off your back account!

And above all, we at PARKERTECHGROUP wish you and yours a happy and safe Merry Christmas and New Year!

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