With summer off to a strong start and Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s a good chance to enjoy the simple things in life when you have the opportunity to do so. Making time to meet up with the family or just reaching out to your old man to mark the occasion is sure to bring a smile to his face. Whether you have plans to fire up the grill, prepare the fishing poles, or enjoy any other exciting activities, it doesn’t matter how the time is spent as long as it’s quality.
LibertyID extends sincere well wishes to all the dads out there for this Father’s Day. From those just starting families to the old timers who have been in our lives since day one, your commitment, sacrifice, and love is seen and respected. And while the subject of this post isn’t intended as advice for how to spend the day, it is meant to be shared to keep your dad, or any other loved one, away from and aware of the many forms of fraud lurking in our always-connected world. Take these Father’s Day fraud-fighting tips to heart and be sure to share them with anyone who might benefit from the advice.
Father’s Day-Specific Scams
Like most other major holidays, events, or any other occasion where money is being spent, there are several Father’s Day-specific scams to watch out for. These are generally adaptations of scams already in play, just slightly tweaked to focus on a particular day.
Scam shopping websites are one common occurrence that you’re likely to see if you are doing any online gift searching for dad this year. While these sites might not be a threat to your dad directly, you will want to keep a keen eye out for the signs, or else your personal information, including credit card numbers and other financial information, can easily be compromised. Father’s Day promotions and specials are abundant this time of year, and it can be easy to click on a link or ad offering savings on potential gifts that seem too good to be true.
Always be sure to check the authenticity of a website before entering any personal information or making a payment using that website. You’re looking at the basic layout of the website to check for authentic customer service information and even plugging the website name into a search engine are basic steps you can do to verify authenticity. If reviews online or on the site itself suggest scam, you’re wise to walk away quickly. You can also check to see if a website is secure by looking at the domain name for an https or a padlock symbol on some operating systems. Do not make online purchases from sites without security measures in place.
Gift card scams are another angle criminals pursue around Father’s Day. If you are buying a gift card from a physical location like a retail store, always check the back of the card to ensure the PIN hasn’t already been revealed by a scratched off obscuring film. Fraudsters will take a picture of the PIN and leave the card on the rack, waiting until someone buys it. Then they can access the gift card balance online and make purchases or transfer the funds to another account.
Another gift card scam involves bogus emails or text messages stating you have received a free card from Amazon or another popular retailer. If you see one of these messages roll through around Father’s Day, you can bet it’s a scam. Do not click any links or provide personal information in an attempt to get these bogus gift cards.
Fraud specifically targeting older people, known as elder fraud, has been steadily increasing in recent years. Quickly changing technologies and an assumed unawareness of how to spot scams and frauds make elderly folks an enticing target for fraudsters and cybercriminals. If your father is older, make sure to spend some time with him to inform him of this risk. A common elder fraud scam involves fake tech support personnel who attempt to steal personal information by offering support for a computer or mobile device phony issue.
Tell your dad, or any other older person in your life, to never give out personal information to an untrusted source. This is especially true if they have been contacted randomly or are receiving unsolicited advice. Let him know that he can reach out to you if anything seems suspicious or offer to help with those pesky computer or mobile issues if he is dealing with them.
You can find some more good information on elder fraud from the FBI here.
Awareness and Planning
With so many potential scams out there, it can feel impossible to spot them all. But rather than feeling overwhelmed by this, it’s important to spread knowledge and take some measures to plan for the inevitable. Awareness is crucial for everyone, and if you keep yourself informed of the state of cybercrime and identity fraud, share that information with your loved ones and friends, including your dad.
Simple measures like never providing personal information to untrusted sources and using complex and varied passwords are basic steps to take. From there, you can do things like enroll in multi-factor authentication for online accounts and set up fraud notification services (such as when certain types of transactions occur) with financial institutions.
Knowing that many threats exist is a crucial step toward taking the necessary action to deal with an instance of identity fraud if it does occur. With that in mind, having an identity theft restoration plan in place can limit the potential fallout of an incident and provides you with the necessary support and advice to properly navigate the situation. Nearly all of us will deal with an identity fraud issue at some point, and your taking steps ahead of time to help deal with this can save time and money while providing increased peace of mind.
If you don’t want your dad dealing with the fallout from fraud this Father’s Day, keep the tips and advice in this post close at hand and share the insights with your dad. Remember that scams abound, and a little awareness goes a long way toward understanding the many threats to look out for.
LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*LibertyID defines an extended family as: you, your spouse/partner, your parents and parents-in-law, and your children under the age of 25.