Beware these holiday season scams

Don't Waste Your Money

It's the holiday season, which means gifts, good cheer, and new opportunities for scam artists to take advantage of us.

And a new report says in 2012, more than ever before, they are targeting us not on our computers, but on our smartphones.

Free Gift Card Scam

"Congratulations, you've won a gift card!" That's the text message many people are getting right on on their smartphones.

Sometimes its a free $1,000 Walmart gift card, sometimes a Best Buy gift card. The latest version for the 2012 holiday season:  A Target gift card.

All you have to do is visit a website called Target or similar (the URL frequently changes), where you have plenty of opportunities to buy things, but no known way to collect your prize.

The security firm McAfee warns that bogus gift cards are among the top holiday season scams this year.

Doesn't That Stink?

And from the Doesn't that Stink file, other Christmastime scams targeting your tablet or computer:

       -Facebook e-greeting cards that contain viruses.

       -Ads for iPads at up to 90% off, that are really links to penny auction websites, where you won't get an iPad anywhere near that cheap.

       -Downloadable Christmas carol lyrics, which can leave your computer infected: So much for a joyous Christmas.    

Bottom line:  Be very careful responding to texts or messages on your phone you weren't expecting.

It's just like the the email on your computer, but without the antivirus and security package.

As always, don't waste your money.

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