December is the season for giving and according to Daniel O’Bannon, director for the Division of Consumer Protection in Utah, Utahns are among the most charitable givers. But even in December there lurks a shadow that too many fall prey to - holiday scams.
“During the holidays, people are more focused on giving to a charitable cause," O'Bannon said. "So scams that might be out there a little bit more might relate to charities.”
O’Bannon said, in the past, scammers preyed upon the elderly, but today they prey on anyone in too much of a hurry to do their homework. He said there are many tale-tell signs to watch out for, but one in particular is a giveaway.
“Big red flag that we want people to understand is," O'Bannon said. "Watch out for anyone who’s asking you to pay through a wire transfer or through some sort of prepaid money card.”
O’Bannon said the Department of Commerce is a resource for people to use to check how reputable charities and online companies are, and to ensure your purchases are sound.
He said everyone is susceptible to these scams and just a few minutes of research can save a lot of heart-ache and money.