Santa Sense: FBI agent gives tips on how to avoid holiday money scams
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As the holiday season has arrived and people are buying last-minute gifts for coworkers, friends and family, scammers are constantly on the lookout for how they can get average people’s money. That’s why WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with an FBI agent who gave tips on how to avoid being scammed out of your money as you stock up on this year’s final holiday goods.
The crooks seem to be very active. Thanks for joining us, agent. Tell us what you are seeing.
“Yes, thank you for your time, Jim. During the holiday season, I see a lot of emotions are high. People are excited to give, to buy, and be charitable. So we are seeing a lot of common scams we see this time of year. Fake charity scams, where individuals are asked to click on a link. Go to a site where it isn’t real. The reason to steal your money. Now we are seeing too good to be true opportunities when people are shopping online. They are out there, clicking through online shopping these days. If the price looks too good to be true on a product of the season, it probably is. So we advise folks to try to use traditional sites for shopping and for charity. Be careful before you send your money out, particularly when you are dealing with peer-to-peer transactions where the money is sent and it’s hard to get back. The other area we see this time of year, folks for some this is a great time of year. For others, it is a time looking for connections. Often time individuals are out of various different sites, connecting with individuals who they have not met in person. And those folks are very good at the con man game. Trying to get you to send your hard-earned money over to them. So if you are seeing relationships online and folks start to ask you for gift cards or money or things to be sent to them, if you haven’t met them in person yet, the best advice is to wait until you have that opportunity before sending off your hard-earned money. And the last area I would say this time of year you see opportunities for different kinds of jobs. Where folks can make a few extra dollars. Maybe it’s something where it seems really too good to be true, simple. You receive some money or some packages with the idea that you send them on to somebody else, those are typically an individual looking for you to launder money that they have stolen from someone else. So if you have those opportunities, look for those red flags. And again the best victim for us is no victim at all. So we would like you to keep your hard-earned cash this season. If something looks too good to be true, sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So keep the cash to you and your family and move on to a new opportunity,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Aaron Seres said.
Good advice to hang onto your money and keep this a happy holiday season.
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