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Avoid Scams During Holiday Season

Fairfax County provides information about common scams that occur during the holidays.

Avoid Scams During Holiday Season

'Tis the season of giving, love and care. Unfortunately, this time of year is also the time for scams and deceit. The holiday season brings out the best and worst in people, and Fairfax County warns residents about common scams that usually happen around the holidays.

Here are a few scams you should look out for and tips on how to avoid them:

  • Fake holiday jobs: Some seasonal positions can be work-from-home. However, if an employer asks for money up front or your social security number, you may be a possible victim of a scam.
  • Counterfeit merchandise: Street vendors may sell fake watches, purses and other items, passin them off as high-end, name-brand merchandise.
  • Fake charities: Avoid giving money to charities until you've researched them first. If they come to your door or approach you in a mall parking lot, ask for credentials and information and explain that you'll consider donating later. The Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs maintains a list of registered charities (1-800-552-9963).
  • Bait and switch: This scam is very old but still quite effective. Basically, you purchase one product and receive a different item.
  • Fake vacation rentals: This usually involves advertising for a vacation property that the advertiser doesn't own.

For more information on holiday tips and scams to avoid, visit the Fairfax County website.

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