24 Philippine Showbiz Today December 22, 2018 - January 7, 2019 Community News ‘Tis the Season for the Harry Potter Yule Ball The Scams of Christmas: most popular scams on Santa’s naughty list Vancouver, BC - As we approach the mid-point of De- cember, it is safe to say that the holiday shopping season is now in full swing, and it is expected to be record-breaking! PwC Canada expects Canadian consumers to surpass last year’s spending total by 3.7%, cashing out at an average of $1,563 per person. Due to the expected increase in spend- ing, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging consumers to be mindful of possible scams that could cut into their holiday cheer. 1. Fake Shipping Notifications: With the increased use of online platforms and e-stores to purchase gifts, more people will be receiving delivery notifications from their re- tailers and carriers. However, some of these communica- tions could be phishing scams that are designed to look like they are from reputable businesses, as they oftentimes use legitimate business names and logos. Opening these emails and clicking on the links enclosed may allow un- wanted access to your private information and passwords and also download malware onto your device. Things to remember: Most online vendors provide tracking information that indicates the delivery company as well as verifies the status and location of your items. You should not be required to pay an additional fee to receive your items as typically, delivery charges are paid when making the purchase. Delivery companies do not require your personal infor- mation to conduct deliveries. 2. Phony Charities: ‘Tis the season for gifts and giving, as 40% of all charitable donations are received during the last few weeks of the year. People need to be on the look- out for fraudulent charities and scammers pretending to be needy individuals. How to protect yourself: Look for sound-alike names. Do not use the size of the charity or its regional scope to determine its trustworthi- ness, as charities of all sizes have demonstrated bad ac- countability practices. Also, do not rely solely on friend rec- ommendations. Verify your charity at BBB’s give.org or Canada Rev- enue Agency. Always donate money using a credit card or cheque, so that your gift is traceable. Be wary of door to door solicitations. Ask for written information about the charity as well as proof of tax deductions. If you are donating online, ensure you are not using public Wi-Fi. Do the transaction directly through the char- ity’s website or through reputable payment portals such as PayPal or Verified by Visa. 3. Look-alike websites: The holiday season brings end- less emails offering deals, sales and bargains. Be wary of the emails you receive and the links enclosed as some may lead to look-alike websites that are created by scammers to mimic legitimate websites and trick people into download- ing malware, making purchases and sharing private infor- mation. Safety tips: Review the sender’s email address. Legitimate busi- nesses will often send emails with a proprietary address, like @bbb.org. If you are uncertain about the email, do not click any of the links. Instead, hover over them to see where they reroute. Look for misspellings and bad grammar in the emails you receive and on the websites you visit. Only enter private information if the website begins with ‘https’, as the ‘s’ means it is secured and will be encrypted. Contact the company or retailer or visit their website directly to confirm the promotions. 4. Social Media Gift Exchange: While the thought of buying 1 gift and getting 36 in return sounds like a great way to increase the number of boxes under the tree, this is a pyramid scheme and these are illegal. Stay away from any offers and invitations that: sound like a quick way to money or benefits; have no paper trail; require cash only; and in some cases, prevent you from sharing details of the trans- action with anyone. continued from PAGE 26 Feel the festive magic of Hogwarts at Guildford Library (Thursday, Dec. 20th | 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm) Register your children (ages 8–12) now for the Harry Potter Yule Ball on Thursday, December 20 from 3:30 pm to 4:4:30pm at Guildford Library. Dress up as your favourite characters and enjoy wizard themed activi- ties, crafts and snacks. Please register at the Children’s Desk and pick up your free ticket start- ing December 6 or call 604-598-7369 for more information. 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