Tips to avoid Christmas scams

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday you probably noticed that your email inbox was even busier than ever. Desperate to boost sales, retailers have been emailing all of their contacts with their latest offers. And if you looked closely, you may have noticed some of those messages were not what they seemed.

Cybercriminals love Christmas

Cybercriminals love this time of year. Faced with an endless stream of emails and messages, busy people may pay less attention to security than usual. Which makes them more likely to click a phishing link, download some malware or make a purchase from a fraudulent website.

How to keep yourself scam-free this Christmas

Keeping yourself safe from Christmas scams means keeping your wits about you. Here are four things you can do to avoid being scammed:

1. Use your common sense

Have you ever seen a special offer and thought, ‘Wow, that’s too good to be true!’ Yes? Then you are probably right – it is too good to be true. Online retailers do offer discounts, but they never sell items at a loss.

So if you receive an email containing deals that are much lower than expected, it is probably a scam. Check the email details carefully – is it full of spelling errors? Is the sender’s email address correct? (you can immediately ignore anything sent from, or

2. Only buy from reputable retailers

If you receive an offer from a shop you have never heard of, you should be suspicious.

You will find that ‘too good to be true’ offers will often come from an unknown retailer – which is a recipe for disaster.

If you cannot verify the company, you should delete the email and move on.

3. Check for secure websites

Reputable retailers use additional security measures to protect your privacy and personal data. One of the most important protections is ‘secure socket layer’ (SSL), a special encryption technique that ensures your data cannot be intercepted by hackers.

As you go to buy something online check your browser address bar. You should be able to see a website address beginning https: along with a padlock icon 🔒. If you can’t the website is not secure and should not be trusted.

4. Use the same credit card for all your purchases

Online purchases should, whenever possible, be made using a credit card. Buyers are often entitled to additional protections against fraud when making a purchase online.

Using the same card for all shopping also makes it easier to monitor your account and spot any suspicious transactions quickly. Because the faster you can find out you have been hacked, the less damage the hackers can cause.

So there you have it, four ways to protect yourself every Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas period – this year and next.

Don’t forget checking all the facilities that Panda Dome offers in order to help you prevent scams during this holidays.

Happy holidays!