TENNESSEE (WATE) — The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office is warning the public of scammers looking to take advantage of the holidays and steal your money and personal information.

Here’s what the TN AG’s Office wants you to be on the lookout for:

Online Purchase Scams: Websites, social media advertisements, and marketplace postings entice purchasers with popular products at bargain prices. However, the products are either never received or are inferior to what was advertised.

Remodeling Contractor Scams: Payment is collected but the work is never done, and the “contractor” disappears.

Online Pet Purchase Scam: The “seller” sends pictures of animals copied from legitimate breeder sites. After collecting payment, the “seller” makes excuses about delays and charges extra fees.

Counterfeit Check Scam: A transaction in which payment by check turns out to be more than the price of the item. The seller is asked to provide the overage in the form of gift cards. The check is fake, and the seller is indebted to the bank and loses the money paid through the gift cards.

Tech Support Scams: Pop up messages with a number or link to get help for a computer problem. Scammers ask for payment in the form of gift cards to fix the issue or attempt to access personal information or download malware. Never pay over the phone or online for tech support. Contact the manufacturer directly.

Red flags to be on the lookout for:

  • Someone pretending to be an official with an organization, business, charity, etc. Scammers may use spoof phone numbers or emails to trick you.
  • A problem or prize, “You’re in trouble with the government, you owe money, you won a government grant, someone in your family had an emergency, or there’s a virus on your computer.”
  • Someone pressuring you to act quickly with threats of arrest or taking something from you if you don’t act now.
  • Requires payment through a money transfer company or a gift card.

How to prevent a scam:

  • Talk with someone you trust, and you may realize you’re being scammed.
  • Block unwanted calls, messages, emails, etc.
  • Don’t give out your personal information to anyone.
  • Resist any pressure scammers may put upon you.
  • Be cautious and consider payment methods when shopping online.
  • Sign up for scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
  • Research the company or product to ensure a scam isn’t afoot.

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