As we get into the peak of the holiday season, it’s important to be mindful of scammers who are ready to prey on those who are overwhelmed by the stress that comes along this time of year. Both with year-end work and personal life balance during the holidays, they know that vulnerable individuals make for easier targets for personal gain. Read on to learn how to spot email scams and counteract the trending “gift card phishing scam” going around this year.

What the “Gift Card Phishing” Scam Looks Like

Warning Signs

What can be tricky with these emails is that the attempts are getting more realistic as scammers learn what techniques work best. However, there are still some telltale red flags to consider:

  • Does this type of request make sense for your job role?
  • Does the email seem out of character from the sender?
  • Is the language either aggressive or playing heavily on the urgency of the request?
  • Does it appear that the email was sent from a mobile device?

Because of the possibility of email spoofing, which makes the email appear like it actually came from a legitimate source, you have to be trained well enough to spot suspicious activity to stop it at the source.

If you’re interested in learning more about the red flags of phishing emails:


While these emails used to be riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes, they’ve become much more advanced over the past few years. If the message seems like it’s trying to illicit an emotional response or something just doesn’t seem right, you’re right to question it.

What You Can Do

The best thing that you can do in these situations is play it safe. If you have any intuition that something doesn’t add up, the best thing you can do is pick up the phone or better yet… walk into the office of the “sender” and ask them about the request directly.

Arming yourself with knowledge that helps you identify the red flags is the best protection, and be sure to listen to your instincts. If you have any doubt, verify!

Are you still feeling unsure that you could pick out a scam email in a lineup? We can help with that!

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