ON YOUR SIDE: Tips on How to Avoid Holiday Scams

It’s the holiday season and everybody is concerned about traveling and buying gifts for their loved ones. However, you should also be aware of holiday scams that you might run into.

While the holiday season is a time for families to get together and exchange gifts, this is also the time that scammers will try and take thousands of dollars from you without you even knowing it. We talked with Central Alabama Crime Stoppers to learn more about some of the common holiday scams and how to avoid them.

There are all kinds of holiday scams that you can look out for to protect yourself and your business. Crime Stoppers warns businesses to keep an eye out for fake receipts during refunds. Some scams involve shoplifting items from a store then trying to return the stolen items later for a refund.

Crime Stoppers Tony Garrett advises everyone to do research if you’re buying from individual sellers online.

“Do some background research on the person you’re doing business with,” stated Garrett. “Make sure that they are a reputable person. Make sure that you’re information is safe so that you’re not giving too much information to the person you’re trying to buy from.”

There are some scammers who are pretending to be a part of a non-profit charity and Crime Stoppers advises everyone to only give donations to your local church or reputable organization.

“Sometimes you may just give money and the money just may go in someone’s pocket,” stated Garrett. “So, you need to do your research for if you’re gonna give to someone, make sure you’re giving it to the right person.”

Posting your holiday vacation pictures on social media may seem innocent, but be aware. Some scammers could see your vacation pictures and plan to break into your home to rob you.

“That used to be one our saddest things or days where we’d go to someone’s house and find out that all of their Christmas gifts, all their Christmas toys and then some, has been taken due to a burglary,” stated Garrett.

So, how do you avoid holiday scams? Be cautious, be aware, and use common sense.

“If it’s on your person where you’re thinking it’s too good to be true, more than likely it’s too good to be true and you’re about to be scammed,” stated Garrett.

If you think you are being scammed, then step away from the situation and do not proceed any further. Remember these tips and be safe this holiday season.

If you or someone you know has been scammed or suspect being scammed, leave a tip on the Central Alabama Crime Stoppers website or call them at 334-215-STOP.

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