As we creep closer to the holidays, we seem to see the number of scams grow. So rather than dimming your holiday mood, here are some red flags to be on the look out for the next time you pick up your phone, or in some cases answer an email.

The Coon Rapids Police Department shared 6 red flags for people to think about before sending money/gift cards or depositing a strange check into their bank accounts this holiday season.

You might be getting scammed if:

  • Someone on the phone or in an email asks you to buy gift cards and then read/write them the numbers off the back of the gift card.
  • Someone you are not familiar with calls you and wants you to give them your bank information.
  • Someone online wants to buy something you've listed for sale, but rather than give you the exact amount sends more and asks for some money back. (Either a bad check, or they get your account information after you deposit the check)
  • Someone calls or emails you that you won the lottery. Except you never entered the lottery or bought a ticket.
  • Someone calls or emails you and threatens you with arrest for a 'warrant' but won't if you pay them 'bail' or a sum of cash/gift cards.
  • Someone calls you and claims to be a family member, generally a grandchild, and they need money for bail. Generally they usually ask for the money in the form of giftcards.

While scams come in many forms, they generally all revolve around the principal of either being too good to be true, like the lottery win, or something vague you've done illegal.

In all of the examples above, if you suspect you are being scammed, before you send money or go out and buy a bunch of gift cards to satisfy the scammers, contact local law enforcement and ask them about what it is you've been contacted about.

Don't let someone you love be taken advantage of this holiday season, share this information with family and friends.

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