M4A WARNS CONSUMERS OF HOLIDAY SCAMS
GIFT CARD SCAMS - Christmas gift cards can be manipulated by thieves. Scammers sometimes rub off the security codes from gift cards while they are still on store shelves and wait until they think the gift card has been sold and activated. They will then spend the money, leaving the recipient with no money left on the card. To avoid this scam, make sure the gift card you are buying is intact before you buy it. Compare it to other gift cards of the same variety. Be sure to keep your gift card receipt.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS - Shoppers should be extra vigilant this time of year for crimes of opportunity. It is always best to keep the following in mind:
• Always park in a well-lit area.
• Do not leave your purse or presents in plain view in your vehicle.
• Do not leave your purse unattended in your shopping cart.
• If possible, always shop with a friend or family member. There is safety in numbers.
• If meeting someone to purchase something bought online, such as from Craigslist or Facebook, meet in a heavily trafficked and well-lit area. If possible, meet in the parking lot of your local police department or sheriff’s office.
To report suspected consumer fraud, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-5658. You can also visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ago.alabama.gov and click on “Consumer Protection.