Tis the season for holiday scams
COLUMBIA - As the holiday season approaches, so do the scams.
For retailers, the fourth quarter of the year has the largest percentage of annual sales due to holiday shopping. The holiday season is also a good time for thieves, scammers, and identity thieves.
According to MarketWatch.com there are several holiday scams that shoppers can avoid.
Around 23 million Americans said they have, at some point, had packages stolen from their doorsteps. To prevent theft, packages can be delivered to a local pick-up area such as UPS or FedEx. Purchases can also schedule a delivery time to make sure they will be home when the package arrives. Tracking notifications can also be turned on so consumers can track their package and notice if it goes missing.
More than 52% of shoppers are concerned with identity theft this holiday season. To prevent having your information stollen, pay with cash. If it is an online purchase, PayPal can lower your risk of having your information lost in a retailer's breach.
When surfing the web for online purchases fake advertisements and package delivery email hacks can attack your device. Marketwatch.com suggests purchasers track their package from the website the purchase made from.
Unfamiliar websites that advertise special prices can also pose a threat to online consumers. If you purchase items from a retailer that is less known, Google the website to look for reviews. Also when searching the website add "scam" to see if there are any poor reviews.
Wesbtites offering money or "gifts" are also a way scammers used to gain personal information. Those ads are likely phishing schemes or malware-laden.
When purchasing gift cards, MarketWatch.com suggests you purchase those cards from behind store counters. Thieves can right down the code from the backs of the cards and later use those codes once the cards are purchased to drain the funds before the owner can.