Beware of these holiday hoaxes and scams

Posted at 4:44 PM, Dec 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-01 16:44:13-05

As we get into the holiday season, we're rushed and overwhelmed most of the time with everything we have to do.

That makes it very easy to fall for an online hoax or scam, especially since many now show up on our friend's Facebook pages.

But it turns out scammers are now sharing their bad deeds on social media, using unsuspecting Facebook members to share and spread them.

Among them?

  • A "holiday gift" from Starbucks and AT&T, offering a free $20 Starbucks gift card. But don't click, or you'll get nothing but a gift of malware in your PC.
  • Then there's the Facebook PlayStation 4 giveaway, involving open box PS4's that Sony supposedly needs to unload, free. Believe that and they'll also toss in the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Offers for free $200 store gift cards, such as the one claiming Macy's will give you a $200 card just for sharing the post. Think of the millions of dollars this would cost Macy's if true.
  • And the perennial favorite: Free grant money for the holidays. There is no free grant money, only schemes to charge you, getting you to wire someone $150 for the promise of thousands in grants. 
Fake News Reports

And from the doesn’t that stink file, the newest type of holiday hoax: fake news.

A news report is making the rounds saying that next year's IRS tax refunds will be delayed till October to help reduce the national debt.

Doesn't that stink?

This one's scaring the Santa Claus out of thousands of people, but it's just another hoax from the fake news website "The National Report."

It's the same site that sent millions of people into a frenzy with a bogus story about a Facebook monthly fee.

My advice? Question any story that sounds suspicious. And be skeptical of any offer for a freebie that sounds too good to be true.

That way you don't waste your money.

Don’t Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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