7 Scams to keep your eyes open for this holiday season

Retailers do big business during December, but unfortunately so do thieves. With so much money flowing freely, con artists are out in full force. Free stock photo of wood, holiday, art, pattern

Things to look out for:

  • Bogus discount gift cards

Look up the guarantee policy of any marketplace you shop and spend discounted gift cards within the guarantee time window. It’s also important to shop at sites that are reputable, so you don’t get ripped off.

  • Online deals that are too good to be true  

A warning from the FBI: Steer clear of unfamiliar sites offering unrealistic discounts on brand name merchandise or gift cards as an incentive to purchase a product, as you may end up paying for an item, giving away personal information, and receive nothing in return except a compromised identity.

  • Social media giveaways

FBI warning: Beware of posts on social media sites that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards, even if it appears the offer was shared by an online friend. Some may pose as holiday promotions or contests that lead to participation in an online survey designed to steal personal information.

  • Payment scamsFree stock photo of cold, snow, light, night

If a retailer asks you to pay with an iTunes or Amazon gift card this is a huge red flag, according to the Federal Trade Commission

Another red flag: Anyone who asks you to pay by wiring money through services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.

  • Fake charity rip-offs

To donate to charity safely, click “6 Tips to Donate to Charity the Smart Way.

  • Pickpockets

Pickpockets might work alone or in tandem with someone else who causes a distraction. Some solutions are; take only the cards you need when shopping and keep your wallet in an inside pocket. If using a purse zip it shut, and cross-body style is always more secure than wearing your purse on your shoulder.

  • Holiday e-cards loaded with malware

Holiday e-cards aren’t so fun when they conceal malicious software. If you get a card from a name you don’t recognize, DELETE IT!

For the whole article click Scrooged for Christmas and keep your whits about you this holiday season!