The holidays are the time of year where we want to feel joyful, festive, and when we want to give our loved ones something that will show them how much we cherish them. We all look forward to giving and receiving presents, but no one looks forward to spending days and weeks going from one store to the other.
This is time-consuming, but there is one more thing that you need to worry about when choosing the right present for the people you love – scammers. Here, we are going to list some of the most commonly used holidays shopping scams, and we will give you some tips on how to avoid them.
1. Original brands that are actually counterfeit
No matter if you are purchasing goods in-store or online, this type of scam is something that everyone can become a victim of. We know that during the holidays there are usually huge discounts, and we hope that we can purchase some goods from our favorite brand without spending thousands of dollars on them.
Scammers are well aware of this, and they will try and trick you into getting counterfeit goods. They will advertise items as original brand goods, and when you get them or start using them, you will see that it is actually fake. Purchase only from trusted brand stores and know that a 90 percent discount is close to impossible to happen.
This is probably the worst scam of them all because it relies on people’s goodness, empathy, and the holiday spirit. When you walk in the mall or when you use a specific website, you may see information about a fundraiser for the less fortunate. More often than not, these things will be about those who are the most vulnerable and the scammers will try to appeal to the human in you.
They will ask you for money, no matter the sum, and after you give it to them, once the action is over, the fundraiser will disappear and the cash will go into someone else’s pocket. Give money only to trusted and vetted organizations.
3. Items that never arrive
When we buy things online, or when we order a lot of goods from a physical store but we cannot transport them to our homes, we usually have an agreement with the store that everything will be delivered to us on time.
Well, when you collaborate with certain places, the goods may never arrive. In some cases, they are going to be late, but getting the Christmas gifts a week after Christmas is not something we want to experience.
You can check places like PissedConsumer.com, to see if there is someone who had an experience like this with a certain store, and see which places you need to avoid so that you don’t buy things that will never arrive.
4. Broken or damaged goods
Sometimes the items that we ordered do arrive, and they can even be delivered on time, but the only thing worse than not getting the things you paid for is getting them and you see that they are damaged. More often than not, the things we get arrive just a day before the holidays, and we don’t have enough time to replace them or to get new ones.
When this is a part of a scam, the goods get delivered broken on purpose, and not everyone is going to have time to ask for a refund. The refund or exchange process is going to be dragged for a long time until you give up and decide that you are not going to ask for your money back. In case you notice broken or damaged goods, act right away, and if needed go to the physical store. Don’t give up on getting your funds back, and if needed, contact a legal advisor.
5. Discount offers that don’t actually work
We all love a good discount offer, and we want to pay as little as we possibly can, especially at the time when we have to spend thousands of dollars on presents. Scammers are well aware of this, and they will try and offer you amazing discounts, gift cards, and vouchers.
They will ask you to pay for the gift card, and when you try to redeem it, you will see that it does not actually work. Sometimes, when you try to get a discount, they will say that there are lengthy procedures that you need to go through in order to get the offer, and you will spend more than you were supposed to with the original price. Remember that if the offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
6. Fake websites
Everyone has their favorite website that they use for all types of online purchases. However, we sometimes choose to type in the link instead of using the bookmark icon, and if we see the brand on our social media feed, we just click on it without paying close attention to the details.
Scammers will create fake websites that will look exactly like the store you trust, and the only difference will be in the smallest details that you may not pay attention to. From here, you may get your information stolen, or you may purchase goods that will never arrive. Make sure you are on the website you actually trust and don’t click on emails or links that you don’t recognize.
You may also encounter places with a warranty that does not exist when you need it, and you may be a victim of a scam where you are offered free gifts for the holiday that will cost your personal information. Be aware of scams where you only need to pay for the delivery, and not the product itself, and double and triple check if the site you’ve chosen is the brand you are actually looking for.
Scams can happen both online and in physical stores, so keep your eyes open every time you choose to go shopping. Don’t forget to read more information about the place you want to do your shopping in, and see if any customers have had a bad experience with the place.