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Risk Mitigation Discussions: Holiday Scam Awareness

Hosts: Stacy Mandock, LSDS Collegiate Travel Lead /Research and Development Lead

Kelsey Diesing, LSDS Risk Mitigation Researcher

Stacy provides support to the LSDS Risk Mitigation team as a program lead for collegiate and assists in doing the initial research for travel destinations and identifying potential concerns and/or risks before and during travel. Her specialty is working with collegiate travelers and ensuring that they’re thoroughly prepared before travel as well as tracking potential risks or threats throughout their trips.

Kelsey researches and reports relevant information to facilitate the safest possible experiences for LSDS clients prior to and during travel.

On this topic: ‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and…scammers. Learn how to protect yourself from the most common scams during the busiest spending and traveling season. In this podcast we discuss the types of scams and provide Dos and Don'ts to help keep your information secure.


Explanation and prevention of the following types of scams:

● Spoofing

● Phishing

Variations of Phishing:

○ SMShing*: via text message (SMS)

○ Vishing*: via phone calls or voicemail

○ Pharming: malicious code makes it onto your computer and redirects you to fake websites.

● Charity scams

Best Practices

The Big Don’ts

1. Don’t download anything if you don’t know where it’s from.

2. Do NOT click any “convenient” links that have been sent to you.

3. Do not use any “convenient” phone numbers that have been provided

suspicious messages either.

4. Open up the actual website and login to check on any purchases.

5. Do not pay for anything with prepaid gift cards online.

The Big Dos

1. Slow down and really look at the email or other messages you’re getting.

2. Be suspicious. If it seems too good to be true…

3.Have strong passwords (the more complicated the better).

a. Be aware of what you share on social media

b. Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

c. If you’re a heavy online shopper, change passwords after you’re done with all your shopping.

4. Use a VPN - We talked about this one in our last podcast about Cybersecurity. See recommendations on the checklist attached to that post.

5. Closely monitor CC/bank activity regularly especially into the New Year

6. Make sure your devices are updated!


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