Bah-Humbug! Watch Out for These Three Holiday Scams
The holidays are a wonderful time for everyone…including scammers. Your money is their perfect gift, and they’ll use all sorts of not-so-holly-jolly tricks to take it. And we don’t expect the ghosts of past, present or future to show up anytime soon to change their ways.
So, look out for these three holiday scams and put your hard-earned cash toward gifts for your family and friends or donations to those in need.
- Fake Online Holiday Stores
Like all those mysterious mall Santas who show up just after Thanksgiving, these stores are nothing like the real thing. They’ll offer you amazing deals, take your money and rarely send you anything.
Avoid these scams by:
- Googling store reviews to check for scam complaints
- Leaving websites that look unfinished or have multiple grammar and spelling errors
- “Viral” Ads
This isn’t your usual heartfelt holiday ad. Instead, it’s an online ad showcasing an amazing deal. But if you click, the ad sends a computer virus that controls your browser or steals your information.
Keep your computer clean by:
- Installing or updating anti-virus software
- Visiting websites directly rather than clicking ads
- Secret Sister Gift Exchanges
The Secret Sister Gift Exchange is like Secret Santa, but it involves more giving than receiving. Victims will see a social media ad asking them to buy a $10 Amazon gift for their “secret sister.” You’re supposed to get at least six gifts back, but you’ll get nothing instead.
Stay safe when you:
- Do in-person gift exchanges
- Send packages/money only to people you know
You work hard all year to get loved ones the perfect gifts. We hope these tips help you direct your money toward holiday cheer and teach those Scrooge-like scammers a lesson.