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HomeNewsworthyPress ReleaseVIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Warns of 12 Schemers Scheming

VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Warns of 12 Schemers Scheming

FL AG Warns of Holiday Scam Alerts

Club 14 Fitness

Press Release

From FL Attorney-General

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert highlighting schemes associated with the holiday season. The National Retail Federation predicts that overall spending during the holidays is expected to total a record-breaking $950 million. Schemers know spending increases during the holidays and will craft ways to target consumers.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It’s a busy time of year for shoppers, retailers and delivery companies as millions of gifts are sold, shipped and delivered. It’s also a busy season for scammers concocting schemes to exploit the holiday demand. Today, I am releasing the 12 Schemes of Christmas Consumer Alert to help Floridians identity and avoid scams they could encounter during this busy holiday shopping season.”

Attorney General Moody lists 12 schemes Floridians should be wary of during the holiday season and beyond:

  • Gift Card Schemes: Some schemers reveal and record codes from gift cards in stores, stealing the value of the card once it is purchased and activated.
  • Fraudulent Charities: Deceptive and phony online fundraising campaigns may be posted on crowdsourcing platforms. Ensure legitimacy by researching an organization on CharityNavigator.org before giving.
  • Porch Pirates: If a mailbox shows signs of being tampered with or packages are missing from a consumer’s front door, this may be a sign of delivery theft. Control delivery times or purchase a secure mailbox to avoid theft.
  • Travel Scams: Scammers may make fake postings offering vacation rental properties or travel deals that are too good to be true, like holiday pricing and packages.
  • Fake Gift Exchanges: Fraudulent online holiday gift exchange events are advertised on social media with promises of multiple gifts after paying it forward. Oftentimes, this is a pyramid scheme in disguise.
  • Phishing Messages: Phishing messages are a year-round attack from schemers, but messages may be tailored around the holiday season. Emails may appear to originate from a trusted merchant, but instead originate from a schemer hoping to gather personal or financial information.
  • Package Tracking Scams: A form of smishing—text-message phishing—scammers send deceptive messages intended to lure recipients into providing personal or financial information. The messages are disguised as package-tracking updates.
  • Temporary Holiday Jobs: Seasonal job opportunities are posted online in an effort to steal information from applicants or obtain free work without paying a hopeful employee.
  • Lookalike Websites and Accounts: Traffic to fake websites spike during the holiday season. Floridians must make sure a website is secure and the domain is accurate before inputting personal or financial information.
  • Counterfeit Toys: Scammers create fake discount offers for trending toys, but instead send counterfeit toys—or no toys at all—bilking consumers of money and potentially stealing personal information.
  • Shoulder Surfing and Card Skimming: Be wary when using an ATM while holiday shopping. Check to see if an ATM looks tampered with and that surroundings are clear before typing in a PIN code or other personal information.
  • Public Wi-Fi Risks: Refrain from using public Wi-Fi when shopping online since hackers can take advantage of unsecure public networks to steal personal information.

For more safe shopping tips, view Attorney General Moody’s free 2022 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide. The guide also provides tips on holiday giving, as well as a list of recalled items.

To access the guide, click 

To report a holiday scheme, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

# # #

The Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division issues Consumer Alerts to inform Floridians of emerging scams, new methods used to commit fraud, increased reports of common scams, or any other deceptive practice. Consumer Alerts are designed to notify Floridians about scams and available refunds in an effort to prevent financial losses or other harm caused by deceptive practices. Anyone encountering a scam should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. To view recent Consumer Alerts and for other information about avoiding scams, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.

Attorney General’s Week In Review

Subscribe to Week In ReviewJump To:            Year                   2022                 2021                 2020                 2019                   

Dec. 16, 2022

This week, we warned Floridians about the 12 Schemes of Christmas. It’s a busy time of year for shoppers, retailers and delivery companies as millions of gifts are sold, shipped and delivered. It’s also a busy season … [Read Briefing]

Dec. 9, 2022

This week, we announced the launch of a massive, statewide child safety initiative. On average, more than 800,000 children go missing nationwide every year—with FDLE reporting more than 25,000 incidents of missing … [Read Briefing]

Dec. 2, 2022

This week, I added an urgent alert to our One Pill Can Kill webpage. For years, we have warned about the prevalence of fentanyl in the nation’s illicit drug supply. New statistics now show that the proliferation of … [Read Briefing]

Nov. 18, 2022

It is International Fraud Awareness Week, and I am encouraging Floridians to stay up to date on the latest scams and take preventative measures to avoid falling victim. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission reported … [Read Briefing]

Nov. 10, 2022

This week, our nation will celebrate Veterans Day. As we recognize this important occasion, please join me in thanking the valiant men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces, including the more than 1.5 million … [Read Briefing]

Nov. 4, 2022

This week, Florida TaxWatch named the Florida Attorney General’s Office the State Agency of the Year as part of the organization’s Productivity Awards program. I proudly accepted this prestigious recognition on behalf … [Read Briefing]

Oct. 28, 2022

As Halloween approaches, I am warning parents about the dangers posed by rainbow fentanyl. This week, I visited the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and met with law enforcement and parents who lost children to this … [Read Briefing]

Oct. 21, 2022

This week, we launched the virtual 2022 Human Trafficking Summit. Our annual summit provides participants with hours of educational content and presentations by experts about the latest in the fight to end human … [Read Briefing]

Oct. 14, 2022

Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Ian ripped through our state destroying homes, critical infrastructure and even claiming lives. As the rebuild efforts continue, I want to remind Floridians that our Price Gouging Hotline … [Read Briefing]

Oct. 7, 2022

This week, I sent Consumer Protection investigators to Lee County to help those who may be encountering recovery-related scams or price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Ian destroyed homes and displaced thousands … [Read Briefing]

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