The Procrastinator’s Guide to Gift-Giving Gotchas

Still haven’t checked off everyone on your holiday Nice List? Naughty you! Whether you’re a bona fide procrastinator who still can’t decide (tick-tock), enjoy the thrill of that 11th-hour gift hunt, or are just in dire need of a calendar, beware of this season’s Grinchiest gotchas. Facebook gift exchanges. Buy one item and get up to 36 for free? It sounds like Secret Santa Shangri-la for Johnny-come-latelies and BOGO fans, but these Facebook-viral come-ons are scams. This season, the biggies …

Top 4 Gift-Card Scams to Avoid This Holiday Season and Beyond

As the most popular holiday gift, gift cards — millions of them — will be exchanged this season. Unfortunately, though, they often wind up in the hands of scammers. Because they provide an easy and virtually untraceable payoff, and consumers have heeded well-publicized warnings about the risks of sending payments by wire transfers and prepaid debit cards, gift cards have become the preferred payment method among fraudsters. Among the reigning gift-card scams: Payment ploys. Whether the claim is that you …

New Amazon Phishing Scam: ‘Confirm Your Information’ to Process Order

A convincing new phishing scam threatens Amazon shoppers just as the online behemoth announced it will offer Black Friday–type bargains as often as every five minutes all the way through Dec. 22. These bogus emails (below), purportedly sent by Amazon and already rampant in the United Kingdom and Australia, have the subject line “Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped.” Claiming there is a problem processing orders, the message says, “You will not be able to access your account or place orders with …

iTunes Gift Cards the Latest Go-To Tool in Many Gotchas

The song remains the same: You owe back taxes and now face arrest or a lawsuit. Your grandkids are in trouble. Your computer has a dangerous virus. You owe a debt, missed mandatory jury duty or didn’t pay your utility bill. But there’s a new chorus in these and other scams: “Now pay me…with an iTunes gift card.” Why? Like other swindler-preferred payment methods (wire transfers and prepaid debit cards),  iTunes gift cards are a fast, easy and virtually untraceable …

Skip the Rack: 4 Ways to Avoid Gift Card Swindlers

AARP Fraud Watch Network warns holiday shoppers of gift card scams Holiday shopping often means long lines, crowded malls and hunting down popular items that sell out this time of year. Gift cards are one of the easy solutions to avoid some of the shopping chaos, but consumers should be cautious when purchasing these cards. During the holiday season, scammers secretively write down or electronically scan the numbers on gift cards displayed on the racks at grocery stores and pharmacies. Then, …

Season’s Cheatings! Get Wise to Holiday Shopping Scams

Black Friday has kicked off the official holiday shopping season, so here’s a rundown of the most common scams aimed at shoppers — and how you can avoid them: The name game Scammer-run websites use the names of popular items and retailers to steal credit card and password information or deliver malware. You’re led to them when you do online keyword searches, including terms like “discount toys.” >> Top Seasonal Scams to Avoid Search away to compare prices, but before you click …