It might seem innocuous to receive a Christmas card link from a friend via your email account. But this is a known source of malicious software. An email that claims to be from a family member or friend sending you a card, with a link attached, asking you to click on it should immediately raise your level of alertness.
“If you’re not sure about an e-greeting supposedly from someone you know, ask them if they sent it before opening it,” says Choice Magazine.
According to Choice, this scam sees you receiving a call or note about an unsuccessful delivery to your door. The caller may say they are from Australia Post even though Australia Post apparently never makes phonecalls of this ilk. Then, on the phone they ask you for your personal details like bank account card or credit card.
“Call the delivery company directly using their official number to check if the situation is legit,” says Choice Magazine.
Charities seem to be an easy target for scammers at Christmas, sadly. So do watch out for people that are claiming to collect in the street or in the shopping malls. Signs you should be concerned about according to Choice include:
“Don’t donate to someone who approaches you out of the blue. Instead, consider which causes are important to you and donate to the charities directly.”
4. Gift card expiry dates
Choice say they get a lot of complaints about gift cards that expire too soon, as well as cards that have unreasonable restrictions. So they say to be sure to “read the fine print on the card” to avoid gift cards that leave the recipient empty handed. They spearheaded a major investigation into gift cards in 2010 that sparked a government inquiry. Unfortunately, the government decided to let the industry regulate itself.
Choice says you should look out for cards with:
and avoid the following:
The last group on Choice’s lists are the hamper companies who present a list of claims that they will deliver everything you need for your Christmas feast and allow you to budget for them through an annual payment program. Choice is calling them out though with the following insights. They say:
Choice magazine says to beware of the cancellation policies for Chrisco, Hamper King and Castle Hampers. Chrisco was recently charged by the ACCC for its unfair contract cancellation policy. The policy gave Chrisco the right to continue debiting a customer’s account after the hamper had been fully paid for. The trick was that the customer had to opt-out of the direct debits – they didn’t stop automatically after the final payment.