Mary Alice Reporting –

With many set to shop for the holiday, AARP is warning about the latest holiday scams.

Online shopping is expected to surge this year with a Fraud Watch Network survey noting that over 70% reported they plan to utilize online shopping services.

AARP Fraud Prevention Programs Director Kathy Stokes says one major scam folks should look out for is “bargain basement” prices and use common sense to distinguish that, if the price is too good to be true then it’s probably not legitimate.

“We all love saving money but if you see any item for a lot less than it normally retails for make sure to have your guard up. It might be counterfeit or just a hoax to bring you into the scammer’s website.”

Another red flag could be the actual website, according to Stokes, who recommends being vigilant when it comes to a company seeking payment via a wire transfer or peer-to-peer; as well as, misspelled words or poor grammar.

“Legitimate retailers take pride and care with their online presentation. Also, one of the big things is to check the URL. That’s the little address bar at the top. Double-check that and make sure it’s spelled correctly.”

When shopping online, she adds that credit cards have stronger consumer protections.

Residents can also visit,, to learn more about resources and other tips to avoid scams.

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