Christmas Is Coming – And So Are The Scammers . . .

Christmas and New Year is the time when a lot of people are rushing about. And now they are threatening London with a load of pure white snow, and they are even saying that we will get it in Worthing, down in the South of England. We are quite sheltered here, and we do not get snow very often, but saying that it can be disruptive to traffic and things like having your shopping delivered. However, snow can also be very pretty, especially when it’s lying untouched in the fields and in parts of the countryside.

Why I mentioned that, is because sometimes when it snows, a lot of people are stuck at home indoors and cannot get out easily, for instance if they want to go Christmas present shopping and want to go and have a browse in all the supermarkets and clothing shops. As I have said, Christmas is coming, and the scammers are out in force because they are after a great chunk of your money, they hope. In this present Article, I am writing about online scammers and fraudsters, because they are so rife at this time of the year. So, when you are out and about, be extra careful when you get your purse out of your handbag, for instance, and have to fiddle about to get your card out so that you can draw cash from the cash machine. There may be a fraudster standing right behind you, watching to see you type in your pin number. Anything like that might happen, so I am reminding you to be extra vigilant, especially if it is busy where you are.

Now, when you are Christmas shopping online, be careful about who and where you buy from. Carry out some research on the person or the place from which you are intending to buy, and ask your family or friends for advice before buying anything. If you do buy something, it is safer to use a credit card, because nearly all the credit card companies insure online purchases.

Always secure all your accounts with a very strong password, and do not be tempted to use the same password for several of your different accounts. Make sure your email account has an extra strong password that is difficult to remember, because computer fraudsters want to break into your email account. They are after useful information such as your personal bank details, and the log-in details for other online accounts. Bear in mind that computer criminals will also use things like your home address or your date of birth, when they are endeavouring to hack into your passwords. And of course, being Christmas time, we have all these Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays when online fraudsters and cyber criminals are particularly busy.

Always use a Password Manager. If you have many different accounts, you will probably be tempted to use the same passwords and usernames for all your accounts. In order to get out of this temptation, use a Password Manager. This system will remember all your log-in details you need for each separate account, so that you do not have to worry about forgetting them, and the only password you will then need is that for the Password Manager itself.

Make sure that you take care with clicking on links contained within emails and texts that are sent to you, containing exciting special offers that you cannot possibly refuse. Many of these emails and texts contain links that lead to fake websites, and if you actually take up this “amazing special offer” they then steal away your money and all your personal details. Not every single link is bad and will defraud you, but if you are at all unsure about this, do not click on the link and go straight to the website.

When you are shopping online do not give out too much of your own personal information. Sometimes websites will ask for your mother’s maiden name, or where you went to Primary School, before they allow you to buy something. However, an online shop will need some of the more obvious details, like your name, address, a contact telephone number and your bank account details, and even the long number on the front of your debit card that you are intending to use when shopping online with them. Be careful what you say, if you are asked for details which are not required for what you are going to buy. Make sure that you only complete the absolutely necessary details on online forms when you are buying something. These often have a red asterisk or exclamation mark on them somewhere. If you can possibly help it, do not create an online account for yourself on a new website that you have not used before or ever heard of, unless of course you will be going to use that website again quite often in the future. To make a single purchase, websites usually allow people to “check out” as a guest so that they can make a solitary one-off purchase.

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes, especially on the days around Christmas time. Some of the scams can be very convincing and might possibly just sound too good to be true. If you think you might have been “had” by a fake website, write down the website’s address and call your bank to ask their advice about what you should do. Whether you have been hit by fraud depends on the amount of personal information you have given to the website. Keep checking your bank transactions on your statements. If you find anything remotely suspicious or anything on the statement that you do not recognize, contact your bank immediately. So, if things go wrong for you, contact your bank straightaway.

Hypnosis is a very relaxing, natural and very safe way to help you to unwind and become very calm and extremely peaceful. When you come to see us for a hypnosis session, we will talk to you gently and soothingly for a while, and we might play some relaxing music in the background if you so wish. You will then be gradually and very gently placed into a deeply relaxing hypnotic state. When you are feeling comfortable and ready, we will know this, because you will not be moving and your breathing will be steady and even. At this point, we will be able to access your subconscious mind directly, and we will give you a full set of brand new instructions to follow, that will help you to be not as anxious and stressed about preparing for Christmas and New Year. If you are anxious and stressed, you will probably be more likely to make mistakes when shopping online, and may give away more information to a website than you should, which will not be as likely to happen if you are feeling calm and relaxed.

Whatever you may be doing at Christmas, may I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year. If you are overcome with, for example, a lot of stress and anxiety connected with this time of the year, please feel free to contact us at Worthing Hypnosis on 07904 605344. We can then have a friendly chat to see what we can do for you, and about how we can reinstate your peace of mind. We can do hypnosis sessions online, on Skype, on Facebook Chat, and on Zoom.