Three Big Scams to Watch Out For This Holiday Season
With the holidays quickly approaching, some amazing Internet deals seem too good to be true. in most cases, they are.
Here's 3 big scams to watch out for this holiday season:
1. Bogus gift-card offers - Almost everyone will buy and receive gift cards this year. This is also one of the biggest holiday shopping scams. It involves an e-mail or text saying you’ve qualified for a deep discount on a gift card (Get a $25 card for only $10!). But the site it takes you to asks for extensive personal information — just enough for scammers to get into your bank account or hack their way into your credit card. Be wary if you come across any sites that offer gift cards at unheard-of prices.
2. Too good to be true offers and deals - The more the offer seems too amazing, the more cautious you should be. When you enter your credit or debit card number and an address in the checkout page of a bogus site which doesn't have any merchandise to begin with, they have successfully gained access to your bank accounts. Note, not every site with an amazing deal is up to no good. It's just wise to visit only the reputable ones.
3. Suspicious links on Facebook and other social media - Before the day is done, no doubt you will receive great deals in your inbox, on your mobile phone via text messages and on Facebook or Twitter from shady accounts. Don't click on the link. Even if it’s from someone you know, contact them first to make sure they sent it and it's legit. They might not even know about it. Watch for misspellings on many of these offers. (For example, Khols, Lows, or Targget) Also beware the e-mails telling you a package you didn’t order is being delivered.
If you believe you are the victim of of a scam or call your credit card company immediately and they will put a watch on your card for suspicious activity.
- Stick to the well-known sites,
- Don’t click on any links from unfamiliar source
- Don’t be duped into giving up extensive personal information
With that being said, I prefer to shop local. Spending money in brick and mortar stores. I like the experience. I like knowing that the tax added to my merchandise goes directly to my city for roads, education, and to build the local economy.
However, I also realize there are times when a product is not available on the store shelf and we turn to the internet. It's generally a safe, and overall good experience. But buyer beware. Along with finding that bargain, or hard-to-find item, comes the risk of hi-tech scammers with new and creative ways to trick you into handing over your credit-card number and personal information...unfortunately, they're getting very good at it.