Avoid holidays scams: Safeguard yourself and your finances

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:15 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Scammers are coming up with new ways to access your personal information and your bank account everyday.

Fraud Watch Volunteer for AARP, John Wurzer, said you should know what to look for and what to avoid.

”75% of U.S. adults have, at one time or another in their life, been a target or a victim of a holiday scam,” states Wurzer. “Every once in a while they’ll just misspell a word in the company’s name or the company’s website. They’ll put an extra ‘e’ or an extra ‘o’ somewhere, and you don’t even notice. Be very careful and vigilant about looking at the spelling of all the names and all of the links that you see in emails.”

When it comes to purchasing your holiday gifts, Vice President of Operations for the Better Business Bureau, Denise Groene, said to be extra careful in how you choose to pay.

Groene said that if you’re buying something online and your only payment option is a gift card, it is an immediate red flag and you’re not dealing with a legitimate business.

“Gift card scams have increased 50% compared to last year with the reported amount of gift card loss at over $690 million — and that’s just what was reported,” said Groene. “We all know a lot of scams happen, but they don’t get reported.”

The ‘hottest online deals’ may look appealing, but you may never actually see that product show up to your front door.

“If you come across a website where the price sounds too good to be true, it likely is,” said Groene.

Groene said that it is better to pay with a credit card when purchasing items online because they have better consumer protection and it’s easier to dispute your charges.