Be Wary Of Holiday Scams – There Are A LOT

( – The holiday season is meant to bring a sense of peace and joy to people but of course there are scammers out there trying to take advantage of anxious shoppers. A recent study conducted by the AARP showed that among their almost 2,000 respondents, 80% say they have personally encountered holiday fraud.

Most of the scams relate to fake shipping notifications (53%) and second is fraudulent products advertised online (38%). Experian, conducted a similar survey and report in 2020. That report held that about one in four Americans has been taken advantage of during the holiday season.

Experts say, scammers run their most scams during the holiday time because people feel pressured to make purchases and are in a more heightened emotional state. The combination can lead people to make poorer decisions than they likely otherwise would. Experts say if a shopper is aware of the common scams and how to spot them, they can avoid them.

They say beware of the ‘charity scam’ in which your email inbox gets filled up with requests to help a charity organization that is fraudulent. Many people reported that they felt charities were not reputable but did not find out for sure until after they had donated. Experts say the first flag to look for with a fake charity is an urge to pay quickly; real charities are not in a rush and they will take a donation at any time.

Shoppers need to look out for the too-good-to-be-true deal. The most common version of this would be for a product that is in very short supply. The scammers will create a Facebook ad highlighting what the consumer believes is availability of that item, only to find out after they’ve paid that they will not be receiving the item and are now out the money.

An in-store scam involves gift cards. Scammers will tamper with these cards in a store and set them up to receive the funds once an unsuspecting shopper buys it to give as a gift. People should make sure gift cards are clean and the serial number is not tampered with until they buy it.

If anyone feels they fell for one of these or any other holiday scam they should contact their credit card company immediately. They should if necessary, inform their bank and make sure the scammers don’t get their money.

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