WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – While people tend to become more trusting around the holidays, law enforcement officials say they are wanting families to be a bit more observant during this season.
The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office warns that scams come in many forms, but they always try to get your money or your information.
Officials released 12 scams that residents should watch out for this holiday season:
- Look-alike websites: It is easy to mimic a real website, so some scammers will take your money and run.
- Social media gift exchange: Purchasing one gift and receiving 36 sounds like a great deal, but officials say this scam is actually a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.
- Grandparent scams: Seniors should be cautious if they receive a call from a grandchild who is in need of help. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it is a true situation.
- Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help during the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share your personal information online or pay for a job lead.
- Free gift cards: Pop-up ads or emails offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information.
- E-cards: Electronic cards can be great fun, but watch out if the sender’s name is not apparent and you are required to share additional information to get the card.
- Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments and links to sites that will download malware on your computer.
- Phony charities: Scammers take advantage of the season of giving through email, social media, and even text. Check out charities at give.org before donating.
- Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.
- Unusual forms of payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, or third parties.
- Travel scams: Be cautious when booking through online ads, and never wire money to someone you don’t know.
- Puppy scams: Be careful about buying pets online. You may get a puppy mill dog with issues or nothing at all.
Officials stress that scammers may also pretend to be a law enforcement officer, but they stress that real agencies won’t call and threaten you. Also, most legitimate businesses will give you time to think about their offer rather than forcing you to decide now.