Scams Ramp Up at Start of Holiday Shopping Season - WSPA.com

Scams Ramp Up at Start of Holiday Shopping Season

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Scammers looking to make a quick buck are preying on people looking for jobs during the holiday shopping season. Scammers looking to make a quick buck are preying on people looking for jobs during the holiday shopping season.
PACOLET, SC -

Scammers looking to make a quick buck are preying on people looking for jobs during the holiday shopping season.

An Upstate woman says she almost fell for it.

When Rhonda Mills went job hunting on Craigslist, she didn't realize scammers were hunting for her.

Someone who said he was from a chiropractor's office emailed her back that she'd been hired as his personal assistant.

“I came home one day and I did have an envelope outside which contained this check. So then he said he was going to give me instructions on charities to deposit money to," said Mills.

The check was for nearly $2,000.

Mills said she was tempted to cash it, but decided it sounded suspicious.

“It's probably too good to be true and I shouldn't put it in the bank because then I would have probably more trouble than it's worth," said Mills.

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs administrator Carri Grube Lybarker said Mills made the right call -- it’s a scam.

“A few days after you have spent those monies, you may get notice back from the bank that the check actually bounced and now you are on the hook for paying it back," said Lybarker.

By then, you've likely already sent some of that money back to the scammer.

Lybarker said these fake check scams tend to ramp up around October and into November as we inch closer to the holiday shopping season.

She said the most common holiday season scams are fake checks, fake lottery winnings, fake charities and scams promising a hot item for the holidays for a steep discount.

“Consumers are often looking for that extra cash around the holidays. So when they get this fake check in the mail, it's what they've been looking for. It's the answer to their prayers," said Lybarker.

If you think someone's given you a fake check, Lybarker said you should keep the envelope and any letter that came with that check if it came through the mail. Then you can give it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. To report a scam to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, call 800-922-1594.


Related:
BBB: Don't Get Wrapped Up in Jobs Too Good to be True
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