Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of holiday season scams - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of holiday season scams

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(Toledo News Now) - It's the holiday season, which means gifts, good cheer, and new opportunities for scam artists to take advantage of us. 

A new report says in 2012 more than ever before, they are targeting us not on our computers, but on our smart phones.

Free Gift Card Scam

"Congratulations, you've won a gift card!" That's the text message many people are getting right on their smart phones.

Sometimes it's a free $1,000 Walmart gift card, sometimes a Best Buy gift card. The latest version for the 2012 holiday season: a Target gift card.

All you have to do is visit a website called Target Contests.com or similar (the URL frequently changes), where you have plenty of opportunities to buy things, but no known way to collect your prize.

The security firm McAfee warns that bogus gift cards are among the top holiday season scams this year.

Doesn't That Stink?

From the Doesn't That Stink file comes other Christmastime scams targeting your tablet or computer:

-Facebook e-greeting cards that contain viruses.

-Ads for iPads at up to 90 percent off, that are really links to penny auction websites, where you won't get an iPad anywhere near that cheap.

-Downloadable Christmas carol lyrics, which can leave your computer infected.    

Bottom Line 

Be very careful responding to texts or messages on your phone you weren't expecting. It's just like the e-mail on your computer, but without the antivirus and security package.

As always, don't waste your money.

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