Holidays prime time for scams

Ted Hubert

Major scam alert. There are an increasing number of scam artists operating at Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

They’re posing as police officers collecting money for feeding the less fortunate.

You may be contacted on the day the banks are closed, informing you that your account is frozen. Don’t give your personal data to them. It’s a ripoff. Your bank will not call you on Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday is said to be the busiest shopping day of the year but Dec. 22 and 23 are ranked higher. More recently, the Monday after Thanksgiving is called Cyber Monday. Record show it’s the biggest online shopping day. In fact, many shoppers are doing their buying during their working hours.

Watch for retail tricks, online ads and insecure websites.

The supply of the item may be limited, thus it’s important to get first in line, so when the doors open you’ll be able to get your desired purchase.

Con artists will be “phishing” schemes to abuse shoppers via computer, telephone or some lookalike newsletter from a retailer.

Avoid clicking on advertisements. The risk of viruses and malware invading your computer is too high.

It is much safer to contact the retailer’s website directly. That way, you will get info about sales, promotions and coupons as advertised without using the link.

Notice if the retailer’s address begins with “https” rather than “http.” The “s” is extremely important because it is “secure” while the “http” allows others to share your online activities.

Have a safe and scam-free Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

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2011-11-24 digital edition

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