Scammers don’t stop trying to separate you from your hard-earned money just because it’s Christmastime.
We’ve got a rundown of four common scams they try to run this time of year.
Gift Card Scams
As we’ve discussed before, anyone that claims you must pay for goods or services with a gift card is scamming you. Lawyers, tech companies, and government agencies don’t want to be paid with Amazon or iTunes cards.
But there are other shady offers for gift cards. Someone might offer them to you at an incredible discount. That should set off 1,000 alarm bells.
Gift cards should only be purchased as actual gifts for people you know. It’s always best to purchase them directly from the retailer, although there are legitimate gift card kiosks in many major stores and online retailers like Amazon sell gift cards for other retailers. But you’ll notice you pay exactly the amount of the gift card. You don’t get $200 worth of merchandise for $50.
Social Media Scams
Watch out for posts promising coupons or discounts for sharing or commenting on a post. They’ll promise things like $100 coupons to everyone who shares a post or entries into contests.
Oftentimes these will be shared by your friends. If you click on the links provided, you could be asked to share personal information or tricked into downloading malware onto your device.
This is a popular time of year for crooks to set up fake charities. They’ll often use names similar to well-known organizations. These fakers can pop up online or you might receive a phone call or even a door-to-door visit looking for money.
If you want to give, it’s best to stick with organizations you’re already familiar with.
If you fall for one of these scams, you’ll end up becoming a scammer yourself.
Crooks use stolen credit cards to purchase items online. They then find unsuspecting people to accept the deliveries and then reship the items somewhere else.
When you do, you become part of a criminal act. Don’t accept deliveries for people you don’t know. And don’t ship items overseas in your name.