12 scams of the holidays and how to avoid them

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Burton Kelso shares tips on how to get the most out of Cyber Monday -- all while doing it safely.

1. Think before you click
Think twice before clicking links in shipping notification emails, and always verify the shipping company before giving out your personal information.

2. Be weary of online deals
Beware of deals that are too good to be true as they could steal your personal information and ruin your holiday cheer.

3. Beware of fake charities
'Tis the season to donate, but be wary of fake charities. Do your research and double check the site URL.

4. Check your statements
Check your credit card statements to make sure you don't have unwanted charges as a result of a point-of-sale breach.

5. Beware of smartphone scams
Today, smartphones act as a phone, but also a credit card, house key, camera and more. Malware can access your device via apps, so do your research and stick to official app stores to download.

6. Avoid E-Holiday Cards
Avoid the unwanted gift of Malware and always verify that e-cards are from someone you know and are from a trustworthy site.

7. Avoid Holiday Travel Scams
Avoid fake online deal links offering low price airfare or hotel rooms that could be a trap; think before you click.

8. Beware of Techs who call out of the blue.
Be suspicious of phone calls from people who claim your computer is infected and request your personal information to fix it.

9. ATM Skimming is Real
Need cash in a hurry? Beware of using automated teller machines (ATMs); as a skimmer device designed to steal data off the card may be installed. Look carefully at the ATM and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

10. Use secure sites when shopping online.
Be sure the e-tailer has HTTPS in their web address before you shop.

11. Keep track of your smartphone and tablets.
With the hustle and bustle of the season, smartphones could easily be lost or stolen in the shuffle. Don't leave your smartphone unattended during the hectic holiday season as it could give hackers access to your personal and work information.

12. Consider using a prepaid credit card for online purchases.
Use a one-time use credit card for online shopping. If stolen, it's useless to thieves.

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