Everyone loves the holiday season! It’s usually a memorable, heartwarming time for family, togetherness, shopping, and gift-exchanging with the people you love the most.
However, the holiday season is also a time where reports of scamming and theft reach an unprecedented level. Whether it’s people trying to profit off holiday gimmicks or steal items from stores for personal acquisition, illegal activity is always heightened around the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and Christmas.
“During the holiday season, the scams ratchet up tremendously,” Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler told WTOP.
“This is the holiday shopping time. This is when the criminals are going to come out. This is when the scam artists are coming out,” said Karen Straughn with the D.C. Division of Consumer Protection. “They’re trying to get your money and trying to get your safety in any way they can.”
Now, unfortunately, several new scams have recently been reported. Although most of the newer scams have been reported in the Washington D.C. area, everyone should be cautious. According to ABC News, the “$100 bill scam is one of the most common right now. Straughn recently cited the potential dangers of fetching a mysterious $100 bill on your windshield.
“You come out to your car and you notice there’s a $100 bill under your windshield wiper. And people go to get out of their car to get the $100 bill and get carjacked,” Straughn explained.
Another scenario exposes scammers with fake businesses. Scammers are reportedly pretending to be business owners who repair cosmetic damage to vehicles, such as dents and peeling paint. The charges reportedly range from $200 to an astronomical $2,000. Unfortunately, victims agree to receive the service, only to realize days later that the service was a botched job.
“They drive away and you can’t catch them,” Straughn said. “This is something that’s more common in our [suburban] area, particularly with holiday shopping.”
While there are a number of other holiday scams, these are reportedly the most dangerous. Other online holiday scams include dating site scams, mobile app scams, holiday item shipping scams, fake charities, online gift card scams, and seasonal travel discount scams.
Although shopping is lots of fun during the holiday season, make sure to always pay attention to your surroundings. You may be a potential victim for a scam.
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