Don’t let the Grinch scam you this Christmas, Queensland Police say!
Scammers put a lot of time and money into making hoax emails and bogus websites look real. Don’t be fooled.
Christmas Grinch’s will email you out of the blue to trick you into disclosing your personal information, bank account details, passwords or credit card numbers.
Fake holiday rentals are a very common scam at this time of the year. Scammers set up fake online listings for holiday rental properties. They entice you into paying a deposit or the full amount and when you arrive at your holiday destination, the real owner has no record of the ‘booking’ or might not even rent out the property and you are left with nowhere to stay.
Here are some ways to ensure that your dream holiday doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
• Be cautious – if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
• Do your homework – contact the company directly using contact details you sourced independently through a phone book or online search.
• Don’t trust the legitimacy of an ad just because it appears in a reputable website – scammers often use these.
• Use approved payment methods outlined on the legitimate website. You should never pay via money transfer.
• If you receive an email out of the blue from a stranger offering a great holiday deal, do not click on any links or open attachments – just press ‘delete’.
• Pay attention to the details – check the URL is the legitimate website, and confirm that names and addresses mentioned match up with publicly available information.
• Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall.
• If you think you have provided your financial details or sent money to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately.
R U in Control of your emails this holiday season?
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.