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4th of July Scams: How to Protect Yourself and Family This Holiday


July 02, 2024

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4th of July Scams: How to Protect Yourself and Family This Holiday

Are you prepared for this year’s 4thof July celebrations?

As Americans get ready for the 2024 Independence Day festivities, fireworks and barbecues, cybercriminals are gearing up for a different kind of celebration to exploit the holiday spirit and patriotism.

We don’t want to put a damper on your plans and fun with friends and family, just to send you a kind reminder of common 4th of July scams designed to steal your personal information and money.

Here’s a short overview of Independence Day scams and how to recognize them to ensure your cybersafety:

1. Fake event tickets. Scammers may create counterfeit tickets for popular 4th of July events, such as fireworks shows, concerts, and parades. These are often advertised on social media, classified ads and other online platforms.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Purchase 4th of July event tickets from official sources and authorized resellers. Avoid buying tickets for shows or events you see on Craigslist, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
  • Verify the legitimacy of an event, as scammers also create ads for shows or concerts that don’t exist.
  • Look up the seller’s reviews and ratings via multiple sources before purchasing.
  • Use secure payment methods such as credit cards so you can dispute any fraudulent charges.

2. Fake Online Sales and Deals. Fourth of July sales are common, but so are phony websites offering deals on electronics, fireworks and outdoor items.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Stick to retailers and online shops you know and trust when browsing for 4th of July bargains.
  • Look out for red flags including poorly designed websites, lack of contact information, unusually low prices and requests for sensitive information.
  • Look up reviews and any scam reports associated with the retailer.

3. Vacation Rental Scams. Another type of scam involves fake listings for vacation rentals at highly attractive rates. Victims may be asked to pay a deposit or the full rental amount upfront, only to discover that the property doesn’t exist or is unavailable.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Book your vacation rental through trusted rental websites and platforms.
  • Always check the listing’s reviews and confirm the property’s details with the host
  • Never wire money or pay with prepaid debit cards
  • Communicate with the property owner through the platform to verify details

4. Phishing emails and texts. Scammers may also send phishing emails or texts pretending to be from reputable companies, offering exclusive 4th of July deals and contests, or alerts about holiday-related issues. These messages often contain links that lead to fake websites designed to steal your personal information and credit card information.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Scrutinize all unexpected messages and never download attachments, click on links or provide personally identifiable information.
  • Verify the sender’s email address or phone number. Scammers often use addresses or numbers that mimic legitimate ones.
  • Be wary of URLs that look suspicious and hover over links to see where they lead.
  • Use a security solution to protect your computer and mobile device against phishing attacks.

5. Charity Scams. Fraudsters may also solicit donations for fake veterans’ organizations or other patriotic causes during this time. These scams can be particularly convincing, using emotional appeals to trick you into handing over money and data.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Research the charity on websites like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau before donating
  • Use credit cards or checks for donations rather than cash or wire transfers
  • If contacted by phone or email, verify the request by contacting the charity directly using information from their official website

Protect yourself against 4th of July scams and scammers with Bitdefender Scamio

With Scamio, our AI-powered scam detector, you can enjoy peace of mind during the festive week ahead. Stay a step ahead of scammers with your dedicated scam-busting assistant Scamio, which analyzes, in real-time, links, offers, promotions or screenshots of any suspicious correspondence you may receive.

If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, check with Scamio. Send any texts, messages, links, QR codes, or images to Scamio, which will analyze them to determine if they are part of a scam. Scamio is free and available on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and your web browser. You can also help others stay safe by sharing Scamio with them in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, Australia and the UK.




Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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