Sunday, April 19, 2015

Avoiding Not-so-Jolly Holiday Scams

Avoiding Not-so-Jolly Holiday Scams

Avoiding Not-so-Jolly Holiday Scams

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 16, 2014

It’s the holiday season, a time when family and friends come together to celebrate. The bad news is that it’s also when thieves are trying a variety of scams. To keep the sparkle in your holidays, Texas Society of CPAs offers this advice on scams to avoid to keep the season merry.

Don’t Trust Social Media Scrooges
Did that email or social media contest to win a new iPad or Xbox sound too good to be true? Unfortunately, it probably was. Contests, free gift cards or other rewards are among the ploys scammers use to trick you into sharing personal data or financial information. Con artists also send bogus confirmation emails that appear to be from reputable retailers, but if you open them or click the links they contain, your system could be hit with destructive malware. If you’re not expecting a packageâ€"or if the subject line contains misspellings or other signs it’s not from a legitimate sourceâ€"send these messages straight to your spam or trash file.

Scrutinize Your Ecards
Ecards have become a popular way to express holiday greetings, but sadly, scammers have gotten on the bandwagon. They send out mass mailings with cards containing malware that will disrupt or steal information from your system. If it’s not clear who sent the card, it’s best to trash it.

Watch for Pickpockets on the Prowl
Hiding among all the holiday shoppers is an army of criminals seeking to separate you from your money. To avoid becoming a pickpocketing victim, stay away from dense crowds if possible and always be sure to keep your wallet in an inside pocket, money belt or in a bag that zips or snaps shut. To protect your privacy if you are a victim, remove your Social Security card from your wallet, along with anything else that shows your Social Security number, ATM PIN or passwords to important accounts. Remember not to leave your wallet, purse or holiday purchases unattended!

Prevent Package Pilfering
You could also become a victim if you leave packages inside your car in a quiet parking lot. To prevent criminals from breaking in, be sure to store them in your trunk before you park and try to leave your car in a busy area. Packages left on your front porch are another temptation for crooks, which is why it’s a good idea to have expensive items sent to your office, to arrange for deliveries when someone can be home and to require a signature, if possible.

Turn to Your Local CPA
No one wants to think about crime at this time of year, but a few simple actions can help you avoid becoming a victim. There are also many steps you can take throughout the year to protect your finances. Whenever you have questions about the best ways to keep your financial life in order, be sure to contact your local CPA. He or she can offer the advice you need to make smart financial decisions.

TSCPA ( is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional organization representing Texas CPAs. The society has 20 local chapters statewide and more than 29,000 members, one of the largest in-state memberships of any state CPA society in the United States. TSCPA is committed to serving the public interest with programs that advance the highest standards of ethics and practice within the CPA profession.

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