How to check whether your gift is a scam
How to test if your gift qualifies as a scam: Check for the words “scam” or “disaster” in the gift’s description.
The gift-giving season typically starts at the beginning of May, when most shoppers head out to their local grocery store to stock up on supplies.
But many retailers, including Costco, Sears and Walmart, begin offering promotions that begin in September and last until the end of December, offering discounts of as much as 50 percent off.
The holidays are also when shoppers typically begin shopping for gifts, particularly for family members.
Some retailers begin giving away their gift cards, which can be redeemed for up to $1,000 worth of merchandise.
Many gift-card purchases are made by online retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.
The average gift-purchasing spree lasts from about eight weeks to several months, depending on the retailer, according to the Retail Industry Research Council.
In some cases, shoppers may even buy items they didn’t expect to buy.
But the majority of people who buy from retailers who do not advertise the deals, such as Wal-Mart and Target, will be able to cash their giftcards after receiving the items, according a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“It’s an opportunity for consumers to purchase the items they really want, without having to think about what they’re getting,” said John Schoenn, director of the consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.
“You don’t have to be an expert shopper to see what’s going on.”
In addition to giving away gift cards for free, many online retailers are selling merchandise online.
That way, they can sell to people who aren’t shopping for gift cards at the store.
“If someone buys $500 worth of clothing at Target or Wal-mart and buys a pair of jeans online, it’s probably not going to be the first time that that happened,” said Schoenna.
“You can expect a lot of that sort of thing to happen.”
When shoppers shop online, they typically buy online.
The websites are often very secure, so fraudsters don’t get in.
However, online shoppers can often bypass these security measures.
In fact, online shopping has been blamed for nearly 70 percent of all credit card fraud reported by the FTC in the past two years.
Some of the retailers, such the Target and Wal-Marts, have started to offer coupons and other promotions online.
But many people are not aware that online shopping can result in higher costs.
Many people don’t realize that when they buy online, there are some other costs associated with the transaction.
“There are a lot more things you have to pay for that you don’t really realize are going on with a gift card,” said Daniella Meeks, director for public policy at Consumers Union.
Meeks said that many consumers don’t know the value of their gift card and are unaware that they may have to spend money on their own or with other people to pay the price of the item.
Some shoppers are still buying online, and some retailers are also taking steps to discourage people from using their cards.
The Target gift card program is set to expire on Jan. 31.
But the company said it will continue to offer other online coupons.
For instance, the company will allow customers to buy items with a credit card, even if the card is expired.
Target also said that its website and app will continue offer discounts on its store.