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Texas Attorney General Warns People against Holiday Scams

Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas (USA), issued an alert during early December 2009 and urged shoppers to watch out for e-mail scams as the holiday season round the corner, as reported by TMCnet on December 5, 2009.

Abbott cited five types of scams that could hit Texans. According to the first, Texan shoppers shouldn't reply to spam mails that present travel and merchandise deals. Abbott cautioned that in such instances, criminals generally created websites which appeared to sell goods, but actually they gathered visitors' credit card details and used them to steal money.

Secondly, there could be a scam related to fake charities. In this, hackers exploit people generosity by dispatching e-mails, which look like messages from genuine charitable organizations. However, the e-mails actually connect with bogus websites that seize credit card numbers, donors' identity as well as steal people's donations. Abbott thus advised that Texans should check the genuineness of charitable organizations and donors could get in touch with "www.give.org." Further, donors should check such organizations' tax-exempt position prior to donating.

The third type of scam Texans should be aware of is e-cards. In this, criminals popularly send e-mail attachments containing Christmas related PowerPoint files with unusual questions; therefore, users should be cautious while clicking on them.

Another (fourth) scam that Abbott outlined is the loan offer scam in which Texans may be guaranteed credit repair funds. And finally (fifth), there are spam mails that scam users with unsolicited offers.

Abbott advised Texans not to reply to spam mails arriving from unknown companies or strange persons.

In fact, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation supported Abbott's advice saying that shoppers, while exercising caution, should not give their financial details to online merchants. This is because there could be some spurious merchants who use those details to buy goods in the consumers' names, as reported by Enidnews on December 5, 2009.

However, online shoppers can best avoid these scams by deploying updated security software on their PCs, and ensuring that the Internet dealings they engage in are secure.

Related article: Texan Spam Mailer Gets Shut Out

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