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As we celebrate and enjoy the festivities, this is also unfortunately, a time for criminals to take advantage of consumers.

Pickpocketing: Being pickpocketed can be frustrating, and during this busy time where shopping malls and markets may be full. It is important to be vigilant at all times. There are opportunists all around the world, especially in big cities. You can avoid being a victim of pickpocketing by not being flashy. Do not put valuable items where they are visible. Carry your bag in front. If you have items in your pocket, keep your hand inside your pocket. Avoid falling asleep in public transport.

Fraud: The internet has become an important tool for scammers wishing to hide behind anonymity when targeting the buyer. Many people have fallen victim to scams by fraudsters falsely portraying themselves as legitimate traders, financial providers, or call centre agents– particularly on Facebook’s Marketplace platform. Sadly, it’s extremely difficult to track these criminals and the victims never recover their money. Protect your personal information as well as that of your company. Criminals gain access to you and your organization details through your personal information.

Online Purchases: There have been many home, car, and goods scams where criminals create fake websites selling either cars, furniture, or homes. These scammers convince you to pay for non-existent goods over the internet. Their companies often seem legit as they have registered bank accounts, convincing websites, and appear to be registered companies.

Many buyers and sellers flock to online sites, wishing to maximize the value of their used car and speed up their trades. Scammers prefer to use email as a preferred method of communication. Report any strange activities on your bank account or cellphone.