As the holiday season begins to get into full swing, and everyone is out shopping for gifts for their loved ones, it's important to be wary of potential holiday scams.
In a recently revealed statistic, about 65 percent of parents said that they would be willing to buy presents from a website they weren't familiar with in an attempt to get hot ticket items for their children to be able to open on Christmas morning, according to The Sun.
Many of these sites will often have customers pay for their items by using a bank transfer payment option, which leaves the cheated customer nearly zero options for recovering their money if the online "store" turns out to be fraudulent.
Following a few simple tips can help you to avoid getting scammed during the holiday shopping season:
1. Never give out any of your personal information over the telephone or by email. They could be running an identity theft scam.
2. Never allow other people remote access to your computer, as they could use information they find on it to steal your identify or bank account number.
3. If a deal appears to be too good to be true, then there's a good chance that it is — always double-check and maybe even consider paying a little more at a trusted seller so that you can feel certain you won't get cheated.
4. Do your research and find out if the company is the real deal. Google can be a useful tool to help find reviews from other customers.
5. If you have doubts about a merchandise seller, check their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to see if any other users have left negative comments about them. That would be a clear red flag.
6. Be skeptical of cold calls from people claiming to be representing a bank, law enforcement, or any other trusted organisations. If you receive one of these and have reason to believe it may be a scam, hang up and call the organization back on a phone number that you can verify independently.
7. If for any reason you feel you have already become the victim of a scam, contact your banking institution immediately and then contact your local police station and report the incident. (NOTE: Dialing 911 would not be necessary here as that line is reserved for life-threatening emergencies, but you can look up a non-emergency phone number for your local police station by using any online search engine.)