DENVER (CBS4) – The season for giving is also the season for stealing by online scammers. They may use the names of prominent companies or organizations to grab attention.
Busy, high-spending times are precisely the time for crooks.
“I’m smart enough not to be a victim,” CBS4 tipster Gurney Steele said.
Steele contacted CBS4 after he got an email from someone he didn’t know with a subject line that read “Contact UPS email.”
“I really don’t know what caused me to open this email because I generally don’t open them if I don’t recognize the name,” Steele said.
It was the company name — UPS — that lured him. The email stated he was eligible for a $800,000 compensation payment. All he had to do was pay a shipping and handling fee of $80.
“It’s a scam. It’s got to be a scam,” Steele said.
UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized brands. Scammers tend to take advantage of those types of companies’ reputation. UPS reports dozens and dozens of fraudulent emails using its name.
“There are lot of folks out there that really aren’t aware,” Steele said.
And this time of year they have to be aware.
Some of the top holiday scams include bogus websites offering fantastic bargain prices. Don’t trust a site or name you don’t know. In crowds at the mall watch for pickpockets. Keep wallets in a closed purse or in a pocket with a hand over it. Bogus charity collectors — simply do research. And emails promising non-existent seasonal jobs that ask to pay a fee.