How to Avoid Holiday Scams

December 5, 2022

How to Avoid Holiday Scams

The holiday season is the most magical time of the year for everyone — even scammers. In fact, it’s the time people are most prone to fraud. Scammers will do anything to take your personal information including phishing, smishing and other tricky scams.

Your safety matters to us at Ria Money Transfer. To keep you protected, we’ve listed common holiday scams and tips on how to avoid them. 

Scam 1: You are offered the deal of a lifetime

If you ever receive a message about an impossibly good deal or winning a sweepstake that you don’t remember entering, it’s probably a scam. These scams can be easy to fall for around the holidays, as everyone is looking for the best prices on gifts including name-brand products, expensive technology or sold-out Taylor Swift tickets. 

If a message sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Beware of emails or texts that ask you to urgently click a link. These links can redirect you to fraudulent websites designed to steal your information or convince you make a payment for a product you will never receive. 

In either case, your information and money are at risk and can cause complicated issues that are difficult to resolve. 

Even if a message resembles a reputable source, refrain from clicking the link and go to the official website or app to verify. If it’s legitimate, most company websites will clearly advertise the product and deal. 

Scam 2: You need to pay an unexpected bill

Scams often look and sound like they came directly from a service provider or government entity. Technology has even made it possible to mask email addresses, phone numbers, and fraudulent links to look authentic.

Be cautious of unexpected messages containing information about billing issues with a service provider. During the winter holidays, it is common for scammers to threaten to shut off your electricity or threaten legal action against credit card debt. 

Remember, scammers often use threatening or urgent language to get you to act fast — especially during the holidays when money can be tight.

Clicking a link in a suspicious message can lead you to a fake website designed to steal sensitive information, such as payment or login details. It is always better to open up the company’s official website in a new browser and log in. 

The same goes for phone communication. If you receive a phone call about a billing issue, go to the company’s official website to find the contact number instead of using any numbers provided by the potential scammer.

If you believe you have received fraudulent messages or fallen victim to a scam, reporting it is the first step in protecting yourself.

Scam 3: A loved one asks you to send money

Gone are the days of a supposed prince-in-need in a far-off land. Preying on holiday generosity, scammers now pretend to be family members, significant others or charity raisers. These scams are difficult to recognize because the scammer convinces you they are trustworthy. 

When posing as loved ones, scammers often pretend to need money to address an emergency, such as a unexpected medical or travel expense.

It is always best practice to never accept friend requests from strangers or send a money transfer to someone you have not met in person. Do not send money to someone if you cannot 100% verify who they are or if the emergency is real. You may never get the money back.

If it is common for you to send international money transfers, we suggest using Ria Money Transfer. 

Ria is always compliant: Ria is AML compliant, meaning that the company goes above-and-beyond to prevent money laundering. 

Ria verifies identities: Senders have to go through a customer verification process that confirms their identity. Additionally, they are required to provide identification information about the recipient. This ensures that only the intended person is allowed to pickup cash at the nearest Ria location

These features are all built into Ria’s easy-to-use website and app. No matter how you like to interact with Ria — in-app, online, or in person, going through KYC is safe and easy.

Ria has world-class security: Security experts monitor activity 24/7/365. With industry-leading security technology, Ria is able to prevent hackers, stop attacks and resolve issues quickly. 

Ria protects payments: The app and website require a phone number for multi-factor authentication (MFA). Requiring a password and a single-use code sent to your phone ensures that only you have access to your account. Plus, Ria never stores your credit and debit card information on our servers. 


These next few months should be spent enjoying time with loved ones and not worrying about scammers. Remember, take the time to become savvy about potential scams, never send a money transfer to a stranger, and let Ria take care of the rest

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