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Holiday Fraud Alert: 4 Scams to Watch Out for in 2022

Fitzwilliam Anderson
November 15, 2022

The holiday shopping season has always been a make-it-or-break-it time for retailers and this year is no exception. While the supply chain woes that dominated the news cycle last holiday season are mostly in the rearview mirror, there are now high inflation rates, an uncertain economy, and fraud continues to plague retailers. The good news is that retailers have more tools than ever before to prevent fraud from derailing this holiday season, a period when fraudsters go into overdrive to steal from both customers and companies. Whether you’re a retailer or a consumer, here are four major scams to be aware of this holiday season:

  1. Beware of "Christmas bots": Bad actors are leveraging advanced digital tools to create automated processes that commit fraud at scale. Fraudsters can program bots to create fake accounts, sign up for free rewards, impersonate people on social media, and more. Because fraudsters often take advantage of peak season to help their bots "blend in with the traffic,” expect an increase in bot traffic on your website this time of year.
  2. Prime time for “porch pirate”: For consumers who enjoy shopping eCommerce, consider investing in a smart home camera that can issue a notification when your package has been delivered. This is a great way to fend off thieves who steal packages left by mail carriers on unattended porches or front yards. 
  3. Mail thieves are on the rise: Whether you’re a consumer who mails a check to a loved one every holiday season or an accountant at a company that pays vendors the old-fashioned way, I have one word of advice for you: stop. Given just how many fraudsters are either stealing keys from postal workers by gunpoint or fishing checks right out of post boxes in broad daylight, it’s clear that the mail is no longer a secure way to send payments. Instead,  consider sending money via a P2P platform. It’s faster and more secure. 
  4. Beware of smash-and-grab robbers: A smash and grab is a particular form of theft that involves a thief smashing a barrier (usually a display window in an expensive shop or department store), grabbing as many valuables as possible, and then making a quick getaway, without concern for setting off alarms or creating noise. This form of crime is still taking place around the country so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re managing a brick-and-mortar store, be sure to employ the proper security precautions, including the strategic placement of expensive merchandise away from entrances and exits.

With these risks in mind, retailers and consumers need to work hard to remain one step ahead of fraud. The good news is that with the proper technology, such as cryptographic authentication, retailers have the ability to verify and authenticate their customers’ identities online. 

Want to protect your company from fraud this holiday season? Set up a time to speak to a digital identity expert. 

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