District Attorney warns of holiday shopping scams

District Attorney Seth Williams.

The traditional holiday shopping season officially kicks off on Black Friday, but it is also a time for online scams targeting consumers.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said shoppers should be careful when shopping inside stores and eliminate opportunities for criminals.

“There is always somebody looking to separate you from your money,” Williams said at a press conference. “The best course of action is prevention. Many thieves choose their victims because the thieves see an opportunity. If you take away the opportunity, chances are you won’t become a victim.”

Williams also warned of a few new scams that police and his office will be monitoring this year, including third-party sellers of used gift cards, one-day only bargain e-mails, and fake auctions. He suggested that consumers Google the names of unknown sellers and avoid giving out their credit card information if they have any doubt.

Some other things to watch out for:

•    Steeply discounted electronics stores: No online store is going to sell an iPad for $10. You won’t find new digital cameras for $5. There are dozens of “fake” online electronics stores that don’t even have an inventory, and they won’t ship you anything you order. They’re only out to get your credit card number.

•    Parking lot bait and switch: Don’t buy electronics from strangers that approach you in a parking lot. It’s always a scam. Always. Often someone will approach you with some wild story about how they need to sell “this $1,000 laptop” or “these $1,000 speakers” fast. The price is usually only $100 to $200, but when you’re back home with the box you’ll find they switched it on you and there’s nothing inside. Some crooks are so sophisticated, they’ve figured out how to re-wrap packages in plastic. So what looks like an unopened iPad is actually a box with some notepads inside to weight it down.

Williams also said shoppers monitor their banks accounts closely for any suspicious activity and be careful of using their debit cards in places like restaurants or online because it’s linked to a bank account.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.