For those of you that celebrate Easter, Happy Easter from Social Catfish! We wanted to warn you guys about the potential scams that could occur during your Easter holiday. Since it is a religious holiday filled with Easter baskets and gifts, scammers take advantage of people’s generosity during this holiday season. They come up with fake charities to fool people into thinking they are being generous in giving back, but in reality, scammers are draining their victims’ bank accounts. There are also pet scams, lottery scams, rental scams, and phishing scams that could fool people into thinking they will have fun this Easter season, but then become disappointed as their money disappears. Here are the top 5 Easter scams to avoid on Easter Day.
Top 5 Easter Scams to Avoid
#5 Charity Scams
Scammers pretend to be from a charity and call their victims, encouraging them to donate. They play off the fact that it’s a religious holiday and try to encourage victims to be generous this weekend. Wanting to give back on Easter, the victims give the scammers their personal and financial information, not realizing what their true intentions are. The scammers then drain their victims’ bank account, taking every penny they can from their victims.
How to Avoid: If someone emails you or calls you and tries to convince you to donate to a charity, don’t do it until you do your research. After you have done your research on the organization they were advertising and it’s a legit charity, only donate through the charity’s official website or phone number. Don’t donate to the person claiming to be from that charity. Scammers can mimic caller IDs to make it look like they are from that charity when they really aren’t.
#4 Pet Scams and Online Shopping Scams
Scammers pretend to have online shops that sell pets and other items for their victims to purchase. The victims become interested in the items on the website and go to purchase the products they have selected. Once they hit that “Checkout” button, a form pops up that instructs them to fill out their personal and financial information. Then once their victims enter this information, the scammers steal it then commit identity fraud and steal money from their victims. The website can also contain malware that gets installed on victims’ devices without them even realizing it.
How to Avoid: If you go onto an online shopping site that you are unfamiliar with, make sure to do your research on it on other websites before shopping. Sometimes, fake websites will make up their own reviews on their websites, so reviews on the actual site can not be trusted. It’s best to go on websites such as Reddit to see what other people have to say about the website you want to shop on. If there are mostly negative reviews or no reviews at all, it’s best not to go on that website. However, if the website has mostly positive reviews, then you should be okay to shop on that website.
#3 Lottery Scams
Scammers email and text their victims, claiming they won a contest. They also host giveaway contests on social media, claiming that they can win big this Easter holiday. Victims believe these scams, and follow the instructions on the email, text, or post to claim their prize. The instructions usually tell victims to send the scammers their personal and financial information in order to receive their prize. Once the victims do this, the scammers don’t reward them with their promised prize… Instead, they steal their identities and drain their bank accounts.
How to Avoid: Whenever you receive an email or text message stating that you won something even though you didn’t enter any contests, don’t believe in that message. Also, don’t believe in any giveaway posts that you see on social media where you have to give over personal and financial details to win. These are popular ways that scammers use to try and get their hands on your money. Only enter a contest from blue checkmark verified pages and make sure that you aren’t sacrificing any confidential information to win the contest.
#2 Rental Scams
Scammers post fake rental vacation properties on Craigslist and Airbnb, claiming that you can stay at these rentals for Easter weekend. The victims call the scammers, thinking that they are going to reserve that vacation rental, and give scammers their personal and financial information. The scammers jot down their information, claiming that they are all set to rent that vacation home for the weekend. The victims get to their vacation home but see that there are other people in it. They realize they have just given their information to a scammer, and don’t actually have a vacation home.
How to Avoid: If you are able to, check out the rental property before renting it online. Make sure to do your research on the person you are renting the property from before renting the vacation rental. If the scammer asks for money outside the Airbnb app, don’t listen to them and move on to the next rental. Avoid renting a vacation home off of Craigslist, since it is the hot spot for rental scams. You can also report the listing to Craigslist or Airbnb if you suspect that you were a part of the scam.
#1 Phishing Scams
Scammers send phishing emails or text messages to their victims, encouraging them to click on the link. Usually, the email or text message advertises a too-good-to-be-true Easter deal that victims can’t pass up, so they click the link to learn more about this offer. The fake website usually contains malware that installs on the victims’ computer without them even realizing it. It also contains a form that victims can fill out to partake in this so-called “deal.” The form asks for their personal and financial information that scammers steal for their own gain.
How to Avoid: Don’t click on any links within the emails you receive, unless you can examine the sender and know for sure that the email was sent by someone you trust. If you question the email at all, you can enter the URL of the advertised website yourself to see if the deals are legit. If you don’t recognize the online store being advertised in the email sent to you, do your research before shopping on that website.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about the top 5 Easter scams. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.