With the holidays quickly approaching, scammers will be busy creating “too good to be true” deals. Before you shop this season, consider the following tips to ensure you’re not giving the gift of personal information to an unscrupulous scammer:
- Perform online searches for any ads that you’ve received. Adding the word “complaint” or “review” to the search can quickly reveal a potential scam.
- Remember to hold onto your receipts when shopping in store. Receipts contain personal information an identity thief can use.
- When donating to charities, verify they are authentic by avoiding unsolicited emails and contacting the foundation using a trusted phone number or website.
- Be cautious about downloading software online. While you may be offered a great deal upfront, this software could contain a virus or charge you after the “free trial” period is up.
- Use a debit or credit card to make online purchases. If a company is requesting you pay for an item with a money order, wire transfer or pay a third party directly, it’s likely a scam.
For more information on common holiday scams, check out this article by the Better Business Bureau.