Fraud alert: Watch out for these holiday scams

Happy Holidays

(WTAJ) — Holiday sales are flooding the internet and shoppers are getting ready to scoop up presents for a great price. But as the gift-giving season approaches, online scams become more rampant than ever.

Many scams will be ramped-up versions of everyday frauds, targeted toward people increasing their spending, according to AARP. Most of them center on online shopping, especially since about 66% of consumers expect to do most of their shopping online this year.

Scammers will use fake websites and social media accounts to impersonate large and well-known brands. These sites will steal personal data and prompt the customer to spend money on products they will never receive.

Some other scams you should be on alert for include:

  • Charity scams pretending to ask for donations
  • Delivery scams with fake emails disguised as FedEX, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service
  • Travel scams with fake vacation-booking websites

So how can you determine if the site you’re on is legitimate? AARP provides these warning signs to look out for:

  • Huge discounts on hot gift items, especially when touted on social media posts or unfamiliar websites.
  • Spelling errors or shoddy grammar on a shopping website or in an email.
  • A shopping or travel site does not list a phone number or street address for the business and offers only an email address or a fill-in contact form.
  • A site does not have a privacy policy.
  • An unsolicited email asks you to click on a link or download an app to access a deal or arrange a delivery.

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