3Qs: Attorney General Jim Hood

HOOD

HOOD

The Attorney General’s office is in high gear watching out for scams, especially around the holidays. Attorney General Jim Hood talked with the Daily Journal’s JB Clark about how to protect yourself.

Q: What are some common scams people fall victim to around the holidays?

A: Fake holiday help – getting a seasonal job can be a great way to make more money, but there are people out there preying on those who need work. Common scams to look out for include all manner of work-from-home jobs. If the so-called employer asks for money up front or your Social Security number, you might be on the verge of becoming a victim rather than an employee. Secondly, beware of fake charities – always check if a charity is legit before giving money. Thirdly, be cautious about layaway plans. Retailers are bringing back layaway plans, but with a catch – you have to pay fees up front and make regular payments. To avoid feeling scammed, closely examine terms and conditions.

Q: How common are counterfeit goods in Mississippi and what can people do to avoid these items while holiday shopping?

A: Counterfeit goods are very prevalent in Mississippi. The increase in technology and the Internet has made counterfeit goods a global concern. Look out for deals that are too good to be true like an unreal bargain. Beware of products that seem flimsy or are obviously poorly made. Beware of flimsy packaging, packaging with substandard printing or running colors, or packages that appear to have been opened. Spelling or grammatical errors are common on the packaging for counterfeit goods. Check model numbers on the packaging against the model number of the equipment, and carefully examine tags on clothing. Check the manufacturer’s website. Many large companies post information to alert of possible counterfeit products.

Q: What can people do if they have purchased a counterfeit item or fallen victim to a scam?

A: If the scam involves the disclosure of personal or confidential information, the victim should cancel all accounts that have been compromised. Contact your local law enforcement agency or the attorney general’s office at www.agjimhood.com or (800) 281-4418.