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Published December 11, 2011, 03:26 PM

Scam Alert: Con artist may take advantage of holiday generosity

(WDAY TV) - 'Tis the season for giving both to family and friends, and those in need, but it's also the time of year con artists may try to take advantage of that generosity. Reporter Megan Lowry with ways to avoid holiday scams.

(WDAY TV) - 'Tis the season for giving both to family and friends, and those in need, but it's also the time of year con artists may try to take advantage of that generosity. Reporter Megan Lowry with ways to avoid holiday scams.

From e-mails to door to door charity collections, holiday scams can come in any form.

Parrell Grossman - Assistant Attorney General: "Unfortunately scams are very prevalent this time of year, so we as consumers have to be extra careful."

Parrell Grossman with North Dakota's Department of Consumer protections says the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is the perfect climate for con artists looking to pocket some of your holiday cash.

Grossman: "There are just so many scams that surface during the holidays some as simple as naming a star where you pay 50 dollars."

Fake online retailers are the most common holiday scam you should look out for.

Grossman: "What you want to look for is that little lock on the website and want to make sure its grammatically and well presented because often the scams won't be.

And if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Grossman: "There is always that it gift toy or book and you'll see retailers pop off overnight offering to get you that gift for a reasonable price what happens is they will take confidential banking info and steal identity and parents are left holding the bad with very disappointed children because the it gift never came.”

Grossman says don't get caught up in the holiday shopping rush by falling for high pressure buys that advertise limited time offers.

Grossman: "If it's a legit product or service it will be waiting for you a day later."

He says the best advice he can give shoppers is to use common sense and when in doubt, always double check. People in Polk County are being warned about a telephone scam.

A company is calling seniors about health care medical cards. The caller asks for social security numbers and bank account information. You are reminded not to give out personal information to unknown callers.

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