It’s the holidays, The biggest shopping season of the year, and it’s also the biggest fraud season of the year! We get so wrapped up in saving money and buying gifts that we forget about protecting ourselves. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit cards breached in 2014 according to NASDAQ. Are you going to be next? How can you protect yourself and your family? Here are my tips to Avoid Christmas Scams And Rip-Offs
Avoid Christmas Scams And Rip-Offs
Don’t fall for fake websites
When shopping online make sure you’re on a legit website. If you receive an email from the unsolicited company, don’t buy or log in from that link. Scammers set up websites to look exactly like a retail site, once you’ve made a purchase from this site they now have all your information including credit card number.
Instead of clicking a link go directly to that website by typing in their URL.
Never log in to your account on a retail website from a link you clicked. Scammers are good at making you think you’re on the legit company page when you’re not.
Too good to be true
If an offer is too good to be true more than likely, it’s a SCAM. I see this daily on Facebook. When you click, you’re giving scammers information about you.
If you see a Facebook page that says “share or like to win” don’t click! I know you’ve seen those pesky surveys or sign up giveaways. They are NOT REAL. Do not give them your cell phone number. If you do, you’re more than likely going to get charged fees for paid text messages.
The surveys are the same. They are collecting information about you. Most of the time they ask for your name and address. To make matters worse once your “done” then you after to share with your friends which also makes them victims. You’re not going to get a prize. It’s a scam to get your information.
Gift Card Scams
Gifts cards are a great way to stay on budget you have to be careful, though. Scammers are making fake sites and “selling” gift cards. They sell them at a big percent off, so the victims think they’re getting a good deal and saving money.
You can save money on gift cards, but you need to use a reputable site. I highly recommend Rise.com (use code bdickerso at checkout to save 5$) I’ve seen discounts on their site for as high as 60%.
I’ve also used Giftcardgranny.com and never had a problem.
If you buy a gift card from the store, make sure you check the back of the card. If it’s scratched, don’t load money on to that card get another one.
The holidays are a time of giving, but be on the watch out for scammer claiming to be charities. If you want to help either find a local family that could use the help or give to an established charity. Why would someone steal from kids? The scammers don’t care. They didn’t care when they were stealing credit card numbers, and they don’t care when taking your money.
If you want to find out about a specific charity Google them, but remember if it’s a new “charity” it might not show up as a scam just yet.
Be careful make sure you’re protecting your mail.
DO NOT give information our over the phone.
DON’T talk to someone claiming to be your bank when they call. Instead, hang up and call the bank yourself.
Watch you credit card. Scammers like to make small charges that add up over time. If you don’t recognise a charge call your cardholder immediately.
Change your passwords! You should be doing this regularly already, but if not start right now.
How are you going to Avoid Christmas Scams And Rip-Offs?