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Investigation Hotline is Grateful for our Incredible Customers and Would Like to Protect the Public This Christmas Season

At Investigation Hotline, we are grateful to all of our clients who are now friends for life. Many of our loyal customers have posted reviews about their personal experience with us and we invite you to read these stories for yourself. This blog is intended to protect our valued clients. We urge you to call us before to get you the help and security you deserve.

The unprecedented events of 2020 have changed the way our holidays will look this year. If holiday traditions are to take place, they must be conducted with the health and safety of everyone in mind. For these reasons, many holiday celebrations will take place online as an alternative to in-person gatherings. Another tradition that has changed is the frequency of online shopping and online spending on holiday gifts. Statistics Canada has shared that online sales will hit a record high this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

As retailers have increasingly relied on online sales, scammers have risen to the occasion to take advantage of the millions of people who have favoured online shopping over in-person. Unfortunately, online fraud has spiked during the pandemic. The scams conducted take the form of fake websites and false social media campaigns impersonating trusted brands with the goal of accessing consumer bank accounts and credit card information. Scammers utilize data harvesting software that collect sensitive and personal information through malware-loaded links disguised in fake “discount” emails or coupons, false purchase confirmation emails, delivery status emails or websites and bogus promotions.

Scammers also take advantage of their unsuspecting victims through gift card scams (selling fake gift cards to obtain credit card information), donation scams (fake charities or fake charity websites), travel scams (“free” travel or discount click bait), e-card scams and more.

While this is a time for (socially-distanced) celebration, it is also a time for heightened vigilance and practicing safe online activity. Quick and easy tips to reduce your chance of being the victim of holiday fraud is to practice good password habits, use authentication features when logging into websites and apps, use trusted payment methods, verify website credibility, monitor your bank accounts and credit card history, and practice general skepticism when making purchases, visiting websites and opening emails.

During these tough times while we navigate through the pandemic, Investigation Hotline would like to be able to provide protection, advice and investigative expertise to those who need it. This includes providing you with valuable advice on how to avoid holiday scams or to help you rectify the situation if you find yourself an unfortunate victim of this crime wave. We have noticed an increase in business lately and although we want you to keep the Christmas spirit, if you have an issue, we are always available for a call to talk it through.