Garlands and twinkling lights, towers of ribboned presents and stockings strung for shoppers to ooh and ah. Stores across the U.S. are preparing for 164 million consumers to plow through their aisles during the busiest shopping days of the year.

Of those filling their physical and electronic carts these next seven day, 32 million are expected to shop on Thanksgiving Day, 115 million on Black Friday and 106 million over the weekend and 78 million on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Consumer spending trends signal a fortuitous time for America's 6.5 million unemployed and looking for seasonal gigs.

Target plans to fill 100,000 temporary workers, Amazon is tapping 120,000 for both in-office and at-home work. FedEx posted 50,000 holiday openings and UPS is making room for 95,000 hires.

Tis the season to be a holly jolly part-time elf, but beware of naughty scammers who will surely ruin your holiday cheer, offering bogus positions and even charging application fees!

Here are 5 tips to help nab legit holiday job:

  1. Skip third party sites and go to a retailer's main website to find out who is hiring and apply directly on that page, advises the Better Business Bureau.
  2. If the employer requires fees for training or background checks, it may be a scam, warns the BBB. Those are things typically covered by an employer. You should never have to pay for your own drug test!
  3. While Amazon is advertising work-from-home-opportunities, you should remain hesitant with other, less reputable companies. Do your homework and see what others have to say about a company.
  4. Never accept a job to reship packages. Some of these titles appear as "merchandising manager" or "package processing assistant," but by accepting, you could implicate yourself in shipping fraud., according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
  5. Never provide personal information before vetting the site and position. If the description solicits you to "act quickly," that should raise a couple flags, says ZipRecruiter. You shouldn't ever be pressured into applying or accepting an offer.

Happy shopping and happy saving!