Illuminated Christmas scams

Loes Knetsch ©

Yes, they are very active and smarter than ever. The illuminated scammers! Be aware of the newest email scams! They are after unwise moments. When you do not pay attention for a moment and they are taking over your computer, your email addresses or get money out of your pocket.

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Christmas is coming, and we all go shopping online

And those scammers know that, so our email boxes will be entered by shady figures. They have no scruples and only want your money. Be aware of new scamming practices!

Which companies are misused by scammers?

To name a few:

Banks, Online payment services, Track and trace services, IT computer services, Online department stores

Be aware of these scam emails

  • Your account will be terminated
  • PayPal needs you to confirm
  • Your credit card is expired
  • The mailman wanted to deliver a parcel
  • Track and Trace code fraud
  • Microsoft verification alert
  • Your account will be deactivated
  • Amazon, verify your new email address
  • eBay, password change required
  • eBay, Re-Enter your billing information, otherwise, you’ll be suspended from eBay
  • Your bitcoin wallet will expire
  • Urgent, in respect to your family
  • PayPal, word doc. Limited account notice
  • My wife and I won…
  • Your municipality has sorted out everything and you have a right on a tax refund
  • Click here to accept our new Privacy Policy

They look so genuine if they are sent directly from Visa, PayPal, your bank or some other official instance with just a slightly different sender email address but with very real looking logos.

Buttons and links

All these emails have a few things in common.

  • You have to click something, a link or a button.
  • They create an urgent fear – Ow sh*t… I have to react immediately…!
  • They promise riches (presumably theirs)
  • No message, only: Click here to view our message

Spot the email scams from a distance

There are a whole lot of examples on Google to find, take a look at these images and start recognizing the scam email when you get them.

Nasty results

They threaten you with all kind of nasty results.

  • You will get suspended
  • Your credit card will expire
  • Your account will be terminated
  • Your expenses will be limited
  • If you fail to update, your card will be disabled
  • Payment declined
  • De-activation account

Generic Salutation

  • Dear PayPal customer
  • Dear youremailaddres@hotmail.com
  • Dear user
  • Dear client
  • Greetings
  • Dear member
  • In some cases, they even have your correct name

Unknown organizations

It is easy to recognize scam emails from banks where you don’t have an account. It’s obvious that emails are not genuine. Or PayPal emails in another language than your account is. My PayPal account is in Dutch, so, PayPal emails in the Eglish language are a scam. It gets a lot tougher to recognize these scam emails when you do have an account, or when you did order a package. Always remember a company knows your full name. And when they contact you via email, they will use your full name. Banks, Online payment services, and Credit card companies will NEVER ask you to verify anything via a link or a button in your email.

What to do to prevent falling for a scam?

  • Make a back-up from your important files, so when they hack your computer and ask a ransom of $1200, you better buy a new computer.
  • Always log in directly at your official instances.
  • Go to the service desk of online department stores to check up your account verifications.
  • Never, ever click a button or link in an unidentified email letter.
  • Read also, I think I have been scammed, what should I do?

I am sorry to say, but you never get your money back.

Millions of people have lost hundreds, and hundreds of people have lost millions #NewestEmailScams #OnlineScam Click To Tweet

Nothing is safe

They use Whatsapp, email, online links and even for Facebook and messenger there are scams reported. When you are not sure about an email, and you are scared to lose an account or whether you should verify something, get the advice of a family member or a neighbor who has knowledge of the online world.

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  1. Matan says:

    Hi, thank you for sharing this post with others we all need to know this and be prepared for Christmas scams. Very instructive for all who did not know.Christmas is perfect opportunity for thieves to poke everybody who gets in their way. To whom to report this? the police or somebody else? Is there any other way except police?

    Thank you so much,

    Matan

  2. Parmi says:

    Oh I hate scams. It’s such a nasty thing to do, yet it seems like there is no way to stop it. I feel that all these scammers find vulnerable time to scam people. Times such as Christmas is when people are more relaxed and don’t have their guard up – and that’s what these scammers target. Are there any laws or the ways you think could stop these scammers? I understand that the internet is global so it is probably quite hard have a law for everyone eh?

    And also, how would you suggest one go about once they fall into a scam? I know my dad a few years ago fell into a similar email scam where they offered him to pay a huge sum of money for just paying the shipping fee. He lost out on some money but thankfully it wasn’t too much. 

  3. Scott Penton says:

    Very good post especially for Cyber Security Month. Every should pay close attention to emails, especially the from field and the domain it’s coming from. Now is a good time to go through your email subscriptions and Unsubscribe from those you no longer are interested in. Then start fresh for Christmas deals. 

  4. Chris says:

    The email side of scamming always saddens me the most, much like the door to door salesmen that scam pensioners. My parents are in their late 70’s and I’ve been helping them about online the last decade or so…and it’s slow going! 

    I feel that these email scams are becoming more and more professional. I’m glad you mentioned the Paypal scam because my dad nearly fell for this a couple of years ago when I first signed him up with an Ebay account – once you log in to Paypal with those sort of links you’ve had it (unless you can rectify your mistake ASAP). 

    Great to see articles like this highlighting the new kinds of email scam avenues.

    • Loes says:

      Yes, it’s worrisome Chris. I got a fake track and trace the other day. It’s because that someone was ringing the doorbell, that I was distracted, otherwise I would have clicked it, now my husband alarmed me for it just in time. They get smarter, and their English gets better too:(

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