4 money scams to avoid this holiday season

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Thieves are hoping to trick you this holiday season.


key point

  • This holiday season, be careful not to get scammed.
  • Charity scams, package delivery scams, and gift exchange scams are some of the ways thieves can steal your money.

The holidays are almost here. For many, the holidays are a time of fun and excitement with family and friends. But at this time of year, scams are also on the rise.

If you’re not careful, you could end up parting ways with your hard-earned money. Find out common scams to watch out for so you can protect your funds from harm.

1. Charity scams

During the holidays, you may be inspired to donate to causes that are important to you. But it’s important to make sure your money goes where you intend to go.

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What looks like a great opportunity to give back could be a scammer trying to take advantage of your goodwill.

Charity scams are common during the holiday season, so it’s best to be careful. Before donating, do your research to make sure you support a legitimate charity. If something looks wrong, or you feel pressure to donate, it’s best to keep your money.

2. Package delivery scams

Another way scammers might target you this holiday season is through package delivery scams. With many Americans shopping online and expecting packages to be delivered to their door, delivery information may appear legitimate. But that may not be the case.

You may receive emails or text messages about package delivery updates. However, it may be false information from scammers.

Typically, a tracking link is included. After clicking on the tracking link, you may be asked to update your payment preferences or provide personal information.

These phishing links are used as a way to collect private information, including debit and credit card details, and can put your bank account or even your identity at risk.

Verify the legitimacy of such messages before clicking on links or providing personal information. If you have any questions about the delivery status of your package, you should contact the retailer directly.

3. Gift Card Fraud

Are you planning to give gift cards to friends and family this year? Care should be taken when purchasing gift cards.

When you go to a local retailer to buy a gift card, make sure the gift card packaging is intact. If something doesn’t look good, don’t buy it.

Some scammers collect information from gift cards sold in stores so they can activate the card and use the loaded funds themselves.

Once you pay for the gift card, they can use the information they’ve collected to use the money on the card before you use it yourself.

Protect yourself by ensuring that any gift cards you purchase are sealed and no activation codes are visible or removed.

4. Fake gift exchange

Another scam popular during the holiday season is fake gift exchanges.

The Better Business Bureau has warned against such deals, calling them pyramid schemes.

How do they work? You may receive an email or see a social media post suggesting you participate in a fun gift exchange. You will be promised to send you a gift in exchange for delivering a gift to someone else.

However, these gift exchanges don’t work as advertised. Participants send gifts, gift cards, or money to strangers, but never receive gifts in return. This can lead to disappointment and wasted money.

If you like the idea of ​​participating in a gift exchange, arrange one with your closest friends so you can be sure your money and gifts won’t end up in the hands of scammers.

Be vigilant this holiday season

Anyone can fall victim to a scam – especially online.

Be careful this holiday season and take steps to protect your identity and money. If you’re not sure, ask a trusted family member or friend before clicking the link or filling out the form.

Otherwise, you could be the victim of fraud, which could delay your personal finance goals.

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