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Shop safely on last-minute holiday gifts online

FALLBROOK – With $8.8 billion lost to fraud in 2022, it is more important than ever to stay safe when last-minute online shopping this holiday season.

And according to a recent survey conducted by, exactly one-third of Americans, or 33%, are last-minute holiday shoppers.

Whether people are starting their holiday shopping, or just picking up a few last-minute gifts, here are four tips for safe last-minute shopping from Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback.

Go digital.

“With only days left until Christmas, the window for finding the ideal gift is quickly closing, Landau said. “So rather than worrying about finding a physical present, consider going with a digital gift card. While it may seem impossible to find ways to save money on a gift card, you’ll have to know where to look.”

Score discounts through TopCashback gift cards, which offers cash back on digital gift cards for over 300 retailers, including Target, Nordstrom and Walmart. Last year, Dec. 18 saw the largest spike in gift card transactions through TopCashback Gift Cards leading up to Christmas with thousands of transactions expected this year to take advantage of this last-minute gift idea, she said.

Beware of scams.

“This year, last-minute holiday shopping scams are at an all-time high,” she said. “Be cautious with deals you see on social media. Don’t click on links if you don’t see the full URL and check for the ‘https://’ at the beginning (if it doesn’t have an ‘s’ before the backslashes, avoid it). Take advantage of reputable cash back websites to save money and ensure you’re shopping safely.”

These websites, such as TopCashback, partner directly with retailers to create secure links directly to the partner retailer so shoppers can be confident they’re not getting scammed. Plus, they’ll get some money back in the process, Landau said.

Use the right credit card.

“Regardless of where you shop, it’s crucial to make sure you’re using the right credit card, she said. “Start by looking into the terms of your credit card’s program to see if you can get increased rewards on certain purchase categories and/or exclusive offers for stores you plan to shop at.”

These awards can help people determine where to shop for gifts to get the most out of their holiday spending. And once they’ve shopped, use those earned rewards towards a statement credit depending on the card’s terms.

Buy online for in-store pickup.

While it may be too late to have items delivered home before Christmas, many retailers now offer in-store and curbside pickup options.

“And by shopping online, you can score some extra savings when using a cash back site, like TopCashback, which guarantees the highest percentage of your money back at over 7,000 stores nationwide, including Sephora, Macy’s and Best Buy,” Landau said. “In December 2022, TopCashback members earned over 10 million dollars in cash back worldwide. The most popular categories to shop for were fashion and health/beauty retailers.”

If shoppers download TopCashback’s free browser extension, it will automatically notify them when they’re shopping on a site that offers cash back and/or coupons, including deals for free shipping. When people are browsing the web for a last-minute gift, the extension will apply these savings with the click of a button so they can be confident they're not missing out on any additional savings.

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