Harrisburg, PA – Holiday shopping is in full swing and so are shopping scams, but there are ways to protect yourself. The basic rule of defensive shopping is: if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. According to the AARP, some retail stores still try the classic “bait-and switch,” advertising an item at a good price, then selling a more expensive substitute, or simply charging more at the register.

Shopping for a gift card? The AARP points out that scammers may go into a store, copy or photograph the numbers of all the cards in a rack, then just wait for those cards to be activated.

And with so much shopping now done online, it’s important to be careful about offers received by e-mail.

More than 90% of consumers say they are aware that thieves create spoofed websites, but two out of every five have fallen victim to online phishing attacks.