With the holidays fast approaching, scammers are gearing up for one of their busiest times of year. Here are some tips on how you can avoid holiday scams.
Require a signature for deliveries: Purchasing items online has become popular in the past couple years, which means it is easier for packages to get stolen from a front porch. When purchasing online, require a signature for delivery or find alternate locations, such as your work, to have your items shipped to.
Charity Donations: This is a prime time for charities to ask for donations. Make sure to validate the legitimacy of the charity and the website (if making an online donation) before making any kind of contribution. Ask questions about what your donation goes towards.
Gift Cards: Buy gift cards from the stores they are from. Cards purchased from gift racks at various retailers are not as safe and could be from hackers or thieves. Always check to make sure the protective scratch-off is still intact so that a scammer is not waiting to drain the funds after activation.
Craigslist Scams: A lot of people look for extra holiday cash by selling items or look for part time work online. Be aware of receiving a check for more than the item with instructions to send extra funds back. Once funds are sent, and the check is returned, you are liable for it. Similar scams with secret shopper employment are similar. A check is sent and then instructions to send funds back via a reputable source (Western Union or MoneyGram), while evaluating the service. Again, funds are sent and the check is returned making you liable for it.
From the friendly staff at Rogue Credit Union, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!