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4 Holiday Shopping Scams, and How to Avoid Them

scam1.jpgWhile the holiday season is filled with good food, memories, and shopping – it also has its share of scammers and thieves. Here are 4 common scams, and effective ways to avoid them!

Package Theft


‘Tis the season for online shopping, and therefore – package deliveries. Reports show that millions of people per year don’t get their purchases because they have been stolen from their doorsteps. In order to eliminate the risk of having your purchases stolen, arrange for a delivery that requires a signature upon receipt. Another option is to have them delivered to a store or pickup location – which can often be done free of charge!

Charity Cons


The season of giving is in full swing – and so are the fake charities. If you are receiving email solicitations from what seems like a charity, ignore it. Unless you have previously donated to this charity, they shouldn’t have access to your email – which means it is likely a scam. Be sure to never provide a credit card number over the phone, and before donating – do some research and check the organization’s legitimacy. Sites like Charity Navigator or have been helpful in determining if a charity is valid or phony.

Gift Card Scam

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While gift cards top the list of popular presents, they are also a favorite target for thieves. Buying gift cards online, from a third-party, might seem like a great way to save money, but there’s also a great deal of risk involved. People have reported receiving gift cards that have already been used, with less value than promised or with no funds on them at all. It’s in your best interest to purchase your gift cards directly from the retailer – while you won’t save money, you will eliminate the risk of encountering a gift card scam.

Fake Freebies

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The holidays are a time when cruises, iPhones and other free merchandise are offered in the form of emails, text messages and social media posts. Many of these are a tactic to install malware on your computer or mobile device, once you click on the link for “details.” Before taking the bait, be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for authenticity. For example, if Apple isn’t advertising the iPhone offer that has been sent to your email, it’s safe to assume it’s a scam.

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