Holiday scams: "It's a darn shame," says WIS GM

The following Perspective is an expression of opinion by the Editorial Board at WIS and presented by General Manager Donita Todd:

It's a darn shame, but financial scams tend to pop up more around the holidays. 'Tis the season for gifting, and consumers are in a generous mood.  Unfortunately, there are all too many scams out there just waiting to take advantage of that generosity.  In order to help you stay alert and financially sound when making holiday purchases or considering a charitable donation,  we've compiled a list outlining some of the top holiday scams:

  • Fake Charities: Fake charities are among the most popular holiday scams.  Only donate money to charities you know and trust.
  • Fraudulent Travel Packages: Travel costs can skyrocket during the holidays, steering many consumers online in search of deals. Take time to research your options, and again, only purchase travel packages from reputable companies you know and trust
  • Telemarketing Scams: Scammers use telemarketing to tempt consumers with prizes from fake contests. Be very skeptical if you get a call out of the blue about winning a big ticket  item, and don't put money down or provide the caller with any personal data.

Other things to watch out for are malicious mobile apps, fake brands, and bogus gift cards.  Just keep in mind that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn't.  Don't let the 12 days of Christmas turn into the top 12 holidays scams for you.

Write to Perspective at P.O. Box 367, Columbia, SC 29202, or send an email.

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