Don’t let scammers take away your holiday cheer

You’ve got meals to plan and gifts to buy. The last thing you need is to lose money to a scam. Here are three ways to avoid giving your hard-earned money to a scammer this holiday season.

Know how NOT to pay.

Is someone asking you to pay with an iTunes or Amazon gift card? Or telling you to wire money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram? Don’t do it. Scammers ask you to pay in ways that let them get the money fast — and make it nearly impossible for you to get it back. If you’re doing any holiday shopping online, know that credit cards have a lot of fraud protection built in.

Spot imposters.

Imposters pretend to be someone you trust to convince you to send money or personal information. They might say you qualified for a free government grant, but you have to pay a fee to get it. Or they might send phishing emails that seem to be from your bank asking you to “verify” your credit card or checking account number. Don’t buy it. Learn more about spotting imposter scams.

Make sure your money goes to real charities.

As a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge shows us year after year, the holidays are an important time to share with people in need. Unfortunately, sometimes charity scammers try to take advantage of your good will. And even when you’re dealing with legitimate charities, it’s still important to make sure a charity will spend your donation the way you want it to. Always check out a charity before you give.

Want a bonus tip? Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams, and read 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud.

If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring the people behind them to justice.

 

Comments

Just received the Western Union Scam check drawn on Spencer Savings Bank in Elmwood Park NJ.
Called their customer service and the check was in fact BOGUS. Signed by Benjamin Noland

Charmdate.com, which is a Ukrainian dating site, is a complete scam. I was scammed, lied to, and cheated out of several thousands of dollars over an 18 month period. A friend of mine went to Kiev to meet his "girlfriend" and she was no where to be found. He also tried to contact the woman I was corresponding with and she was not who she claimed to be and did not work where she said she did.
The site is a total scam that should be "off limits".

I was also recently scammed on this site charmdate. com by a young lady that wanted me to send her money to pay for her mom's cancer treatments. They are also a very expensive site requiring male clients to buy credits in order to send/receive emails or chat on the site. Emails will cost $4.00 to $7.00 per email and chats will cost at least $4.00 per 10 minutes depending on how many credits you buy. You also have to wait at least 3 months to able to obtain personal contact information to contact a client directly without having to go through the site. I have heard from the site datingcop. com that this site employs women to act as clients and and pays them a percentage of the revenue for communicating with the male clients.

Thank you for this info on scammers,I have been a victim this past September 2016 I have fallen into the iTunes scams applying for a loan online.They use a company name called AceCashloan that was unknown to the real one.The results are my credit score went down to poor, my bank was overdraft close to a thousand of dollars, creditors calling for their payments, and worst to worst rent haven't been paid since September. And have almost cause me to have a nervous break down. This have been a tremendous hardship on me that have effected others,and most of all I hope no one will never experience this.Thank you for bringing this important information out to those who read your article.

I'm grateful that you email me timely updates.

Thank you

You may want to look in to Dish Network , They are good Scammers

I recently got a phone call from somoeone who said she works for "CFS." She said someone has gotten a payday loan using my name and didnt pay it back. Said I would have to go too court to defend myself, OR I could repay the loan. I did not get such a loan, and suspected this was a scam. The woman sounded professional, however. And, she had the last four digits of my debit card, which really scared me. I did some research on her company and all I could find was scam reports. I got a copy of my credit report - NO ONE got a loan using my name. Duh! This woman had the nerve to call me back again yesterday. When I told her it was a scam, she started yelling at me....so I hung up. Please - no one should be scammed like this! And I KNOW people do fall for this stuff.

I keep getting this same call. Have been getting it for years now. Now they call my work, my family and friends. I have filed complaints and nothing at all has been done.

Excellent post Amy!

The holiday season presents a virtual buffet of opportunity for scammers because they know people are in the gift giving mood.

It's impossible to calculate how much money scammers rake in because most crimes go unreported. The victims are either too embarrassed to admit they've been robbed or they do not know where to turn for help.

A good practice for safe charitable giving is “staying local”. Check out the many well-known charities represented in your hometown through hospitals, places of worship, or other similar civic organizations. Supporting local charities offers a level of comfort and familiarity and their reputations can be more easily verified.

Scammers - Scumbags The lowest of lowest dirtbags

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