'Tis the Season for Holiday Scams – Here's How to Avoid Them

Thief with laptop and Christmas hat

The holiday season is a time for giving, but it's also a time for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. They know people are busy and may need to pay more attention to the usual red flags. That's why it's essential to be aware of the different types of holiday scams to avoid them. Our Knoxville bankruptcy attorneys highlight some of the most common scams and what you can do to protect yourself from them. Stay safe this holiday season, and enjoy all the festivities!

Fake Charities

One of the most common holiday scams is fake charity scams. Scammers pose as charities and ask for donations to fund specific causes. But instead of using the money to help those in need, they take it for themselves. If you want to donate, ensure that you only contribute to reputable charities and verify their credentials before giving any money.

Phony Gift Cards

Another common scam is counterfeit gift cards. Scammers will try to sell you gift cards worth much less than they say they are. To avoid this, only buy gift cards from trusted retailers and purchase them online after researching first.

Holiday Travel Scams

Purchasing flight tickets, making hotel reservations, and renting a car can be expensive during the holidays. Before making a purchase, check reviews and book through trusted sites.

Package Delivery Scam

Scammers may try to take advantage of holiday shoppers by offering package delivery services for a fee. They will promise to deliver packages quickly, but they never do, and the money is gone. Always use trusted delivery services like UPS or FedEx when sending gifts or expecting holiday deliveries.

Online Shopping Fraud

Online shopping scams are also on the rise during the holiday season. Scammers use stolen credit card information to purchase items from online retailers and then resell them for a profit, often at lower prices than you would find in stores. Be careful when buying anything online, and make sure that it comes from a reputable source. When in doubt, don't buy it.

Holiday Job Scams

During the holiday season, holiday jobs can be an excellent way to earn extra income. Beware of job offers that seem too good to be true or require credit card information. Always research companies before giving any personal information.

Social Media Gift Exchange Scam

A popular holiday scam is the social media gift exchange. In this scam, scammers create a game on Facebook or other social networks in which people have to purchase gifts for others to receive their own. But instead of getting anything in return, they end up losing money. Be cautious when someone asks you to send them a gift in exchange for one.

Emergency Scams

Also known as the "Grandparent scams," these scammers will call or email pretending to be a family member. They usually claim that they are in urgent need of money due to an emergency and ask you for funds right away. Don't fall for it – if someone claims to be a family member, always contact them directly or verify the story before sending any money.

What Can You Do If You Fall Victim to a Scam?

If you come across a holiday scam, it's crucial to take action immediately. Contact your local authorities or the Federal Trade Commission and report the incident. Taking steps to protect yourself can help you avoid falling victim to any holiday scams this season and protect your financial freedom.

Staying vigilant and using common sense can go a long way in avoiding scams this holiday season!

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