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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — It’s the season for giving but unfortunately, it’s also prime time for holiday rip-offs.

Experts with are warning consumers of 12 scams of Christmas and offered the following tips:

Scam #1: Fake Holiday Help
Watch out for fake work-from-home jobs. Never give a potential employer money up-front and be careful who gets your social security number.

Scam #2: Fake Charities
Never give money to a charity before checking them out.

Scam #3: Fake Check Scams
Be wary if eBay or Craigslist buyers want to give you a cashier’s check for more than the purchase price and ask you to send them the difference. It may be a phony check.

Scam #4: Fake Merchandise
Street vendors are notorious for selling counterfeit merchandise, especially designer watches and purses.

Scam #5: Fake Vacation Rentals
If you’re renting a vacation home, make sure you’re dealing with the real owner of the property. Never wire money, always pay with a credit card.

Scam #6: Fake Online Sellers
When you shop online, make sure you’re buying from a reputable source.

Scam #7: Email Scams
Watch out for email scams, especially strangers from foreign countries who say they want to transfer money to your bank account.

Scam #8: Phishing Scams
Beware of online phishing. Legitimate companies like your bank will always ask you to login with a username and password.

Scam #9: Off-the-Truck Scams
Never buy big ticket items like stereos from strangers selling stuff from trucks. It’s probably stolen or fake.

Scam #10: Limited Quantities
If online sellers advertise limited quantities of an item, and want you to make additional purchases to get the deal, it could be a scam.

Scam #11: Bait-And-Switch
The bait-and-switch scheme is still alive and well. Sellers say the item you want is sold out but a higher priced product is available.

Scam #12: Layaway Scams
And finally… if you’re buying a layaway plan, make sure you read the fine print to avoid fees and other hidden charges.

Experts say most scams happen when you’re in a hurry and don’t take the time to be vigilant.


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