Top 10 Holiday Scams To Watch Out For
With holiday shopping still going on for another few days, I'm sure everyone is happy that they got all of their shopping done and just want to spend it with people they love. Unfortunately, scammers out there want to ruin this holiday for you. The Better Business Bureau has listen the top 10 biggest scams during the holidays, the BBB says, "The easiest way to not be scammed is check out the list and to check on your bank accounts everyday."
1. Tax Scam: The BBB said this scam starts with a phone call from someone who claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service. The caller tells the person on the other end of the line they owe back taxes and are facing arrest if they do not pay up with a wire transfer or a prepaid debit card. In these instances, the phone number on a consumer's caller ID "is spoofed to appear to be a government agency or the police," the BBB said.
2. Debt Collection: In this scam, the caller tells a consumer they have an unpaid debt and threatens wage garnishments, lawsuits or jail time if it's not paid right away. The caller often uses caller ID spoofing and pretending to be a government agency or police.
3. Sweepstakes Scam: In this scam, a consumer receives a call, or a letter or e-mail informing them they've won a sweepstakes prize. To claim their winnings, the consumers is told to send a fee to cover processing, delivery and insurance. The BBB said consumers would never be asked to pay money to claim a prize they've won.
4. Tech Support Scam: In this instance, a scammer will contact a consumer and claim to be a technician who has detected a virus or security threat on your computer. The caller says they can log in remotely and remedy the problem for a fee. But the BBB warns the callers are actually hackers who are trying to steal money or sensitive computer passwords, or trying to damage a computer with malware.
5. Government Grant Scam: Like many of the other scams, this one too is carried out through a phone call, email, or letter that tells its recipient they've qualified for a government grant. To receive the grant, though, the person is told they have to send money through a wire transfer or prepaid debit card to cover processing and delivery fees.
6. Advance Fee Loan Scam: Consumers fall victim to this scam while searching for loan information coming across an "enticing" ad that they click on, the BBB said. Once you've clicked on it you fill out something to pay a fee. However, the BBB said the caller or sender of the e-mail tells the consumer they have to send money to cover a processing fee, security deposit or insurance. "You pay the 'fee,' but never see the loan," the BBB said.
7. Credit Cards Scam: To carry out this scam, a scammer pretends to be from a consumer's bank or credit card company and claim that the consumer is eligible for a lower interest rate, or they claim they need to verify a recent transaction. "The consumer provides the scammer with their credit card number and security code to 'verify' their identity," the BBB said.
8. Work from Home Scam: Consumers fall victim to this scam while searching for a job online. The ads claim a job seeker can make good money while working from home stuffing envelopes, posting advertisements, or shipping packages. "You could have your identity stolen when you fill out the employment forms, or even end up handling stolen merchandise," the BBB warned.
9. Fake Check/Money Order Scam: This scam often befalls consumers who are trying to sell items or services online. The consumer receives a check in the mail that is larger than the amount owed and then asked by the scammer to deposit the check and wire back the difference. The BBB said in those instances that the check is fake and "when it bounces, you're out the money."
10. Lottery scam: This scam is older than dirt and basically you get a call saying you've won a foreign lottery and have to pay a fee to collect. "Such lotteries are illegal. Sometimes you may be sent a check as partial payment, but the check will be counterfeit," the BBB said.