Avoid Holiday Season Scams with These Essential Tips
Now that Black Friday has come and gone, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. As millions of shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice, so are criminals looking to take advantage of the holiday rush, preying on consumers who are looking to score a deal and avoid the stress of waiting until the last minute to find that perfect gift, especially online shoppers. Consider the following tips before making a purchase to avoid falling victim to a scam.
No matter how many deals you see advertised during the holidays, keep your expectations grounded in reality. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you’re doubting whether the online deal you see is real, that’s your first red flag that it probably isn’t. To double-check, do a quick search for the same product on other shopping websites. If the “deal” you found is more than 50 percent lower than everything else you’re seeing, it’s probably a scam.
Buy from reputable sources
Especially when shopping online, verify the source you’re purchasing from. Any online store that allows you to make a purchase should be secured, meaning you’ll see “https://” at the beginning of its URL (rather than the standard “http://”). It’s also a good idea to look for contact information for the company. Be suspicious of any online sellers who neglect to give their customers a way to contact them in case there is a problem with a purchase.
Finally, as the holidays are a time for giving, be cautious about where you donate your money. Many imposter charities sound identical to the real ones, so obtain the charity’s contact information from an independent source and contact them yourself. Many times fake charities will solicit funds via email or over the phone, so always wait to donate until you have verified that your money is going to the real organization.