KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — To help keep your holidays bright, WATE’s consumer reporter Don Dare has some tips to protect you and your family from holiday scammers.
First up, don’t be fooled if you receive offers to have a personalized letter sent from Santa to your child or grandchild. Some offers may be legitimate, but scammers use this as a ruse to get your personal information, plus the fee you’re charged. Worst of all, the letter never arrives.
Next, beware of gift card scams, we’ve reported this one over the years. In one scam, the value of the cards selected from do-it-yourself racks may be compromised by thieves before you even purchase the card, leaving your card value at zero dollars. Instead, purchase your cards from a retailer directly and save your receipt to prove the card’s value and purchase date.
In the rush of shopping online, if you are asked to pay with a gift card or to wire money, think twice before you hit the payment button. Scammers prefer to take your cash this way because it is nearly impossible for you to get it back.
Were you expecting a delivery? Fake notification emails are often phishing scams designed to trick you into sharing personal information or financial information by asking you to verify a purchase. This is why it is important to keep a list of online purchases and check them off as they arrive.
Finally, be careful before opening a holiday e-card. They’ve become very popular, but they can be fraudulent or have the potential to deliver malware to your device. If you receive one of these cards from an unknown party, delete it without opening it.
When it comes to scammers, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.