University of Missouri Extension

Holiday Scams

There are so many scams and schemes circulating, especially during the holidays. Use the following tips to protect yourself. When making a purchase refuse merchants’ request for personal information. Your address and telephone number for instance are not a condition of purchase with a credit card. Never provide your account number over the phone if you have not initiated the call. It can be used to make a new card or unauthorized purchases on your account. Telemarketers offering cheap vacations or merchandise awards and asking for credit card numbers are among the most common telephone scams. Don’t allow a merchant to record your credit card number on a check, receipt or other document, unless you expect to be charged. Many states have laws prohibiting this practice. If you receive a suspicious solicitation by phone or mail, or feel you have been a victim of fraud, you should immediately report it to the Office of Attorney for Consumer Complaints at 1-800-392-8222.

Resource: Talking Dollars Makes Sense, Patrice Dollar-Johnson, consumer and family economics specialist,  Fall 1998

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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