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The holidays are a time for family, friends and good cheer. Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas holidays are also the biggest time for thefts, scams and deals. Almost as soon as the Black Friday shopping deals are announced, the hackers, scam artists and identity thieves start launching their deals too.
Giving to the needy?
During the holidays the number of fake charities soliciting “donations” skyrockets. Sometimes the only thing these fake charities need is to be in jail. Fake charities may contact you by phone, email or mail. Don’t give to a charity you’re not extremely familiar with without checking them out at CharityNavigator.com or the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.
Holiday travel deals that sound like a steal?
If a holiday travel deal sounds like a steal, it might be- stealing from you that is. If you’ve never heard of the travel site or promoter, don’t give out even basic information whether online, by phone or in writing. Always check for phone numbers and websites addresses and make sure you can get through to each of them. After all, a travel agency should be easy for traveling customers to access in an emergency. Too many people have paid upfront from holiday travel deals and found out that they’d been punked. Be sure to research reviews (from more than one source ideally) on any travel agencies offering super holiday travel deals.
Watch out for unfamiliar websites offers great deals on hot toys and must gadgets for the Christmas 2010 season.
You can’t it anywhere or else you can’t find it at such a great deal and then there it is- hottest toy or latest gadgets on Christmas list. Make sure that you are the initiator for your holiday shopping. If you get a “deal” e-mail, ignore it and if you think you want to check it out, go to the website by your own search without using email links that lead to scams. If the sale is legit the website will be advertising it.
Shopping on E-bay and Craig’s list can save you money if you follow these BBB tips.
There are deals of eBay and Craig’s list shopping sites but the BBB wants you to watch out for sellers that will take advantage of Christmas spirit and pocket your shopping by following these tips:
Do: Shop locally on Craigslist and make the transaction in person.
Don’t: Never wire transfer money.
Do: Research sellers on eBay.
Don’t: Ignore instincts that something isn’t right about the deal.
Don’t give the cashier a Christmas bonus at the register.
“That will be $18.98,” says the cashier. “Really? Why does the screen say $16.98?” Maybe the cashier likes to skim a dollar or two per customer all day long. Perhaps she thinks she’s underpaid and deserves to help herself to some extra cash. Always make sure the total you hear matches what you see on the register screen. Some cashiers will even turn or block the screen but don’t hesitate to ask to see it. You can use a line like, “Can I see that please? I’m more of a visual person.” And for shoppers, seeing is believing.