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How to avoid scams this holiday season

holiday scammer in santa hat
holiday scammer

When shopping online during the holidays, be careful about deals that seem really cheap or too good to be true. These might be scams, especially if you see them on social media or websites that you don't know. Make sure the website starts with "https" and has a little padlock icon – this means it's safe. It's a good idea to use a credit card to buy stuff online because if something goes wrong, you can get your money back.

Be careful when buying gift cards. Sometimes, bad people mess with the gift cards at the store so they can steal the money on the card. It's safer to buy gift cards online or from a place where they keep them behind the counter. Also, watch out for texts about package deliveries. These texts might be fake and could harm your phone or computer. If you're getting packages, try to be home when they arrive, or ask for them to need your signature. This way, no one can steal them from your doorstep. Lights that turn on when they sense movement and security cameras can also help keep your packages safe.

Finally, be smart about giving to charities. During the holidays, some bad people pretend to be charities to take your money. Always check that a charity is real before you give money. If you or someone you know gets tricked by a scam, don't feel bad – it's not your fault. There are places like the AARP Fraud Watch Network and government websites where you can get help and report the scam. This helps stop the bad guys and keeps others safe too.

Takeaway During the holiday season, you must remain vigilant against online shopping scams, gift card fraud, and deceptive charity solicitations by thoroughly verifying deals, sellers, and organizations. If scammed, you should promptly report to authorities and seek guidance, remembering that the responsibility lies with the scammer, not the victim.


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