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BBB’S LIST OF COMMON HOLIDAY SCAMS

Holiday Scams

Early December, the Better Business Bureau released a series of warnings to holiday shoppers this winter season. Among them are some of the most vicious and common holiday scams to watch out for. As a consumer, you’ll want to be conscious of the following and keep a keen eye out for anything that looks suspicious. Here is the list released from the BBB:

Be cautious shopping online – Because many retailers now have chip card readers, fraud at bricks-and-mortar stores is down, so scammers have shifted their efforts online. Use a credit (not debit) card online and only shop on secure websites. Look for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and for a lock symbol.

Look-alike websites – When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Fake shipping notifications – These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.

E-cards – Electronic cards can be great fun, but be careful. Two red flags to watch out for are if the sender’s name is not apparent, or you are required to share additional information to get the card.

Letters from Santa – Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.

Emergency scam – Be cautious if you get a call from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested, or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true.

Phoney charities – Most people are in a generous mood at the holidays, so scammers take advantage of that with fake charity solicitations in email, on social media sites, and even by text. Check out charities at give.org before donating.

Temporary holiday jobs – Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.

Unusual forms of payment – Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. Free gift cards: Pop-up ads or email offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information that can later be used for identity theft.

Social media gift exchange: It sounds like a great deal; buy one gift and get 36 in return. But it’s just a variation on a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal.

Speak with the experts now

You can also fill out our online form if you are interested in learning more. We are ready to keep you and your business safe and secure.

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Investigation Hotline
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Jennifer Schneider
2 weeks
A serious error in judgment on my behalf has put me at risk of ID theft. During a phone call I supplied personal info to someone who I believed was with Revenue Canada. Immediately after I realized I had fallen for the CRA scam. Shame on me!  Since the incident I've been frantically taking steps to fend off the dire repercussions that such a mistake can have. This has included: Filing a police report, Filing a report with the Canada Anti Fraud center, Adding flags to my bank accounts, Putting up Fraud alerts on the 2 main credit bureau's. I've even purchased some Identity theft tracker software to monitor my info. I contacted Investigation hotline to see if there was any additional measures I could take. The agent applauded me on the steps I had already taken. They also had knowledge about the CRA phone scam itself that helped settle my nerves somewhat. With all the fear and anxiety I've been enduring for the last while it was assuring to speak with someone familiar with the actual risk potential.
Jennifer Schneider
1 month
I called investigation hotline after I provided somebody a home renovation and they refused to pay, I tried to bring them to court- hired a lawyer and found out I was given false information on the contract. After speaking with Mitch and explaining my situation I felt that he sincerely cared about my case and was quick to find out the information I needed. Within a couple of days, he had all the information I needed. I could not thank Mitch enough. I would highly recommend investigation hotline to anybody as I feel they are experts in the field and act fast and work efficiently. I felt that Mitch had a deep understanding of what I was going through and was empathic and understanding. I could not thank him enough and will be using this service again if needed. Kaitie S
Jennifer Schneider
1 month
I needed help with fining out some information to bring somebody to court. Within a day I had everything I needed to fill out the court papers. I could not thank Mitch and his team enough. I am so glad I stumbled across investigation hotline. I highly recommend contacting Mitch if your looking for this type of service.
Jennifer Schneider
2 months
Apr 02, 2018 I needed an investigator on Sunday Easter Week End. No one cared about the situation except this Company. The investigator was dispatched to the location without minutes. did not care about the Money to be prepaid or secured. The investigator took it personal. He felt of my situation and Specially when it came to my kids issues. My Ex-wife was cheating in a hotel north east of Toronto. He Located her within 1/2 Hour. This a true story; I never thought Investigator cared about the situation but the money.. This company did not care about the money, they finished the job, send me the invoice and i Paid him more than what he asked for. Sometimes money does not mean any thing to some one wants to get a load off his back and find the truth about his wife,,,, FOR SURE THIS COMPANY TOOK A HUGE LOAD OFF MY BACK. THANK YOU SO MUCH JOE MICHIGAN
Jennifer Schneider
6 months
All I can say is that the team at Hotline Investigation is absolutely amazing. They are genuine and care about helping you out in anyway they can! They do their best to ensure the best results. I cannot thank them enough for fixing my situation! The Investigation Hotline is the best choice.
Jennifer Schneider
8 months
Mitchell and his team of Investigators are an really extraordinary professionals. In less than 5 hours after first discussing with Mitchell about my case, Mitchell and his team had solved my case and I got the information I've been searching for some time. I want to emphasize that I am from Serbia and the person who I try found lives in Canada. I really surprised with Mitchell and his team how they quickly my case was solved. I'm really grateful to Mitchell and his team and I do not know what to add yet, thank you, thank you and guys are the best.
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