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