We may have enjoyed the warmer temperatures a little longer than usual this year, but don’t get too cozy because as the temps start falling the scams are heating up when it comes to holiday shopping scams. As the fall nights get colder and we start thinking about holiday shopping, please heed these tips to help you spot and avoid the top holiday shopping scams. And as the old adage goes and continues to ring true; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is… and just might be a scam!
ONLINE SHOPPING – FAKE WEBSITES
What it is: Scammers launch a copycat website of a well-known retailer – or, create a website offering popular, sometimes previously "sold out" merchandise at crazy discounts.
How it works: A classic phishing scam – often by email but increasingly through links on social media sites – the email appears to come from a legitimate company and the link sends you to a phony website where you're asked to enter personal information.
What to do:
How it works: Thieves hit a store gift card rack, secretly write down or electronically scan the numbers off the cards, then check online or call the toll-free number to see if someone has bought the cards and activated them. As soon as a card is active, the scammers drain the funds. By the time you try to use the same card, the money is long gone.
How it works: The end of the year is a prime time for charitable donations, and scammers try to take advantage. Fake charities are among the most popular holiday scams: scammers either misuse the name of a genuine organization, or make up their own.