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PNS Daily Newscast - December 13, 2018 


Trump 'fixer' Michael Cohen gets three years, and Trump calls him a liar. Also on the Thursday rundown: Higher smoking rates cause some states to fall in health rankings; and the Farm Bill helps wilderness areas.

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Don't Let Scammers Steal Your Holiday Cheer

In order to keep your information safe, fraud prevention experts suggest you only use trusted online shopping retailers. (aitoff/Pixabay)
In order to keep your information safe, fraud prevention experts suggest you only use trusted online shopping retailers. (aitoff/Pixabay)
December 5, 2018

SEATTLE - 'Tis the season for holiday shopping - and also holiday scams. Swindlers are out in full force during the holidays, capitalizing on these busy times.

Leeta Scott, director of the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center in Washington state, said distracted consumers can fall prey to scammers more easily, so it's best to stay vigilant. Charity scams are a big problem this time of year. Scott said criminals are aware that legitimate charities are making their year-end push for donations.

"They try to strong-arm people into giving information, credit-card information, in various ways, generally over the phone," she said. "So if you know this, I suggest that you do research; back away from a high-pressure solicitation."

Scott said the websites charitynavigator.org and give.org are good places to confirm whether an organization is authentic. For online shopping, Scott suggested using a trusted retailer, and giving deals that appear too good to be true a second look. If the deal really is too good, buyers might receive an inferior product or have their credit card information compromised.

Stolen packages have become one of the biggest holiday concerns, Scott said, adding that it's a little-known fact that delivery companies are not responsible for what they leave on your doorstep if you don't require a signature. She acknowledged this can be a problem, because people often are at work during the day when items typically arrive, but said there are some other options for making sure your packages stay safe.

"A lot of employers are fine with you just having your packages delivered at work," she said. "Generally. people are around to accept packages throughout the day, so that's a good option. And we also recommend, if you're sending somebody a package, that you give them a heads up, so that they know to be on the lookout."

Scott said you also can give delivery companies specific directions for where to place a package, so that it is out of sight.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA