PITTSBURGH, PA – Holiday scams are more common in Pittsburgh than anywhere else. According to the FBI, the city boasts an older population, who are more susceptible to scams.
However, the FBI reminds us that the elderly aren’t the only ones at risk. Lack of common sense while shopping can result in potential holiday scams.
Furthermore, FBI Assistant Agent in Charge, Chad Yarbrough, reported over 30,000 complaints regarding prepaid credit cards and gift cards in 2018 alone. Further adding that it is a major issue that the bureau is looking into.
Apart from this, the FBI urges consumers to look out for prepaid gift cards and credit card requests.
In addition to this, Yarbrough says a lot of holiday scams consists of criminals pretending to be charities or businesses. They will bait the victim into mailing gift cards or have them email or call in credit card information.
Also, the FBI warns shoppers to stay away from the ‘too good to be true’ deals offered through various websites, especially during the holidays.
Whether electronics, gaming devices, toys, or whatever the case may be, think twice about the heavy discounts placed on popular items.
Furthermore, in 2018, 500 locals lost $1 million through these holiday scams.
Lastly, the FBI says to be cautious of social media offers.
Particularly, around this time of year different ads will pop up on social media asking users to take surveys or provide personal information. This often leads to fraud, says Yarbrough.
Importantly, it should also be noted that scammers can use apps to access your information without knowledge or consent. Therefore, it is crucial to learn all privacy settings, and to stay on the alert.