July 4th is the start of ‘Summer Scam Season’

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Today we’re celebrating the birth of our nation, but those who want to separate you from your hard-earned money are celebrating something else — the start of the summer scam season.

We’ve uncovered some very unpatriotic schemes that might make you red, “frightened” and blue.

Internet Holiday Greetings

In this case, scammers take to the Internet during holidays sending what appear to be patriotic e-cards or videos or inspirational stories.

If you follow the link or open that email, you’ll get an infection in your computer that will steal your account info.

To protect yourself:

  • Never open email attachments you weren’t expecting
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Never download any special “holiday” updates

The Holiday Sale

Sales in and around July 4th are mighty popular, but be careful.

Fake retail websites pop up around this time of year like fireworks. The scammers lure you in with tremendous savings or deals on electronics or other high ticket items, but they just want your credit card info.

Here are some things took for on those sites:

  • Punctuation counts. Look for weird spelling or odd phrases.
  • Check the URL. Legit sites use HTTPS. (The “S” on the end of HTTP stands for secure encryption for your data.)
  • Prices that are way too low for the product being sold.

Here is a link to a website you can use to check if a shopping site is legit.

Counterfeit Concert Tickets

That great summer concert you just had to see is sold out, but you’ve found a wonderful place or person online that still has tickets.

Be wary.

Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Sellers who want cash for the tickets
  • Sellers who want payment via a Wire transfer or gift card

If you’re paying cash to a third party then chances are those tickets don’t exist and if you buy them, you’ll be out the money and the show will go on without you.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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