At Social Catfish, we want to make sure that you have a happy fourth of July! As you are celebrating Independence Day, we want to make sure that you are also avoiding the scammers as you are watching the fireworks. During any holiday, scammers will find a way to scam their victims out of money using this patriotic holiday as an excuse. They like to send phishing emails that contain fake greetings and fake shopping deals, as well as come up with too-good-to-be-true travel deals during this weekend. Here are the top 5 4th of July scams to watch out for this fourth of July and how to avoid them.
Types of Fourth of July Scams
Scammers create phishing links and send them via email and text messaging to their victims. These phishing links contain greeting cards claiming to be from their family members and friends wishing their victims a happy 4th of July. The victim gets excited, thinking that they received a greeting from someone they care about and click on the link on the email or text message.
As they click on the link, they are redirected to a form claiming that the fake website needs their personal and financial information to view the greeting cards. The victim enters their information, but instead of getting to view a greeting card, they get malware on their device, their bank account drained, and their information was stolen. There are also phishing sites that pretend to be 4th of July stores.
Vacation Rental Scams
Scammers create fake rental listings on rental websites and fake websites, claiming that they are renting out cars, boats, RVs, or vacation homes. Victims see these listings and are interested in renting a vacation rental for the Fourth of July weekend. They see a phone number on the website claiming that they need to call it in order to rent these vacation rentals.
The scammer answers the phone and asks for the victim’s personal and financial information in order to rent the property. The victims give them the information, and the scammer hangs up on them. The scammer uses this information to steal their money and commit identity theft.
Fake Vacation Website Scams
Scammers create fake websites that offer airline tickets, vacation rentals, and/or other vacation needs during the Fourth of July weekend. They lure victims onto their site, knowing that victims are looking to do something over the holiday weekend. They use phishing emails and text messages as well as search engine sites to advertise their fake websites.
When victims click on the link, they get malware downloaded onto their device without them knowing about it. They are also instructed to enter their personal and financial information in order to get their hands on their dream vacation. However, once they enter this information, scammers use it to steal their money and identities instead of providing them with their vacation.
Fake Shopping Websites
Scammers create fake websites selling merchandise for the Fourth of July. They advertise these websites via phishing email or text messaging and through search engines. Victims go onto these websites thinking that they are getting cute fourth of July merch for the holiday weekend.
However, there is malware that installs on their device without them knowing. Also, when they go to purchase their items on the website, it asks for their personal and financial information in order to complete their purchase.
Fake Firework Show Ticket Scam
Scammers create fake websites that claim to sell tickets to fake firework shows. Victims notice these websites through their email, messages, or through a search engine and click on the phishing link. Once they are on the fake website, they attempt to purchase tickets to see these firework shows.
The websites prompt victims to enter their personal and financial information in a fake form. However, instead of getting tickets to see a show, scammers steal victims’ money and drain their bank account instead.
How to Avoid Fourth of July Scams
- Don’t send your personal or financial information to anyone you don’t know.
- Don’t shop on new websites without doing your research first.
- Don’t click on any links on unfamiliar text messages or emails.
- If you rented a vacation rental on an official renting website, make sure to report the scam back to the website.
- Use familiar companies and websites as much as possible when making purchases during the 4th of July.
- Report any scam that you have been a part of to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Fourth of July Scams!
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 if you think you’ve been a victim of Fourth of July scams.