The holiday season brings out the generous, gift giving spirit in people. It also brings about holiday scams. Scrooges are out there ready to take advantage of your kindness and your money.
5 tips To Avoid Holiday Scams
Research The Charity You Are Giving To
The request for charitable donations ramp up during the holiday giving season. Be sure you know the charity you are considering donating to so you don’t give your cash away to those with less than charitable intentions. It’s OK to say “no”. Try offering “thank you, but I am not in the position to donate right now”. You could also deploy the Hug and Release approach. “Thank you for your time and I do appreciate your efforts (hug). However, I have other areas of interest and passion that need whatever resources I can offer (release)”.
Be Wary Of Re-Gifted Gift Cards
After the presents have been unwrapped, the tree is down and left overs are consumed, scammers could try to sell you gift cards that have no value on them. The gift cards are sold at a reduced price giving the appearance that you are getting a great deal. When you attempt to use the card, you will soon discover that there is no credit left and you certainly didn’t get what you paid for. One solution is meet the seller at the store where the gift card is issued and verify the balance. You can get a great deal by paying 15-20% less than the value of the gift card but be sure to verify the value.
Avoid Getting Short Changed at the Register
Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle and get distracted at the checkout. Pay attention to the bills you are handing out and the change you are getting back. Check your receipt for scanning errors.
Keep Eyes On Your Purse Or Wallet
Holiday Scammers lurk in busy malls waiting for you to become distracted and when you turn your back, your purse or wallet is gone! Keep an eye on your purse, securely closed and within reach. Stow your wallet in a zipped jacket or your front pocket.
Holiday Job That Leaves You Holding The Bag
This time of year can be financially stressful and therefore some people want to earn a bit of extra holiday shopping cash. Be wary of “work now, get paid later” type of jobs and check out the employer’s credentials ensuring this isn’t a phishing expedition for your personal information.
The Better Business Bureau has identify more holiday scams and tips to protect yourself.
If you are struggling with holiday debt, find an accredited Credit Counsellor near you.