Holiday season is a prime time for scams, officials warn

The holiday season is prime time for scams

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The holiday season is prime time for scammers.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs says crooks can try to steal your money through gift cards. Once a scammer gets the card, the money is gone and nearly impossible to trace.

Here are some scams to look out for:

Look out for an IRS scam. Crooks claim to be the IRS collecting back taxes or fees. The scammers threaten arrest and more when asking for immediate payment.

There’s also a utility scam where crooks pretend to be a utility company and threaten to cut off your power unless you pay your bill by gift card.

There’s even a scam where they claim you’ve won the lottery or a sweepstakes to a contest you’ve likely never even entered. These offers can come from a cold caller or show up in your mailbox or inbox.

Scammers will say you need to use a gift card to pay fees or other charges, so be sure to avoid them.

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