Case in point: free voucher/giftcard scams. While browsing Facebook recently, an old friend of mine posted about a “Free $400 voucher” on his Wall. Time’s a factor, hurry now, as supplies are limited. (Sound familiar?)
This is a scam, folks. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This con has been around for a few years now, with only the amount, the company and a few minor details changing to lure the unsuspecting in. It plays on your credulity, and your desire to take advantage of a killer deal during the biggest shopping period of the year. (After all, who couldn’t use a few hundred dollars more during the holiday season?)
What do you have to lose? Well, you could give thieves enough personal information to steal your identity or end up with viruses installed on your computer.
How Can You Tell If Something Is Legit
Most of the time if it strikes you as illegitimate, it probably is. On occasion, you might just come across an incredible deal. Here are a few tips to help you verify the offer:
Do an internet search of the offer, with the word “Scam” included. (Example: “COMPANY NAME free voucher scam”)
Check the results to see if others have posted something negative about it. If they have, don’t do it!
Check out snopes.com – a reputable site detailing web scams
Check out the website and Facebook page of the company “offering” the deal to see if there is anything on their page about it. Make sure to actually type in the company’s name in the browser, as scammers specialize in creating “fake” pages (known as “phishing” sites) that look legit in order to lure you into giving them the information they want from you (credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.)
Make sure to check out this article over at Blogher to help you avoid being the victim of a scammers during your holiday season. As always, when you need help, head over to geeksquad.com for updated tech tips & tricks, and to receive help from one of our agents online.