How to Protect Yourself from Holiday Scammers
The holidays inspire feelings of generosity. Unfortunately, scammers often take advantage of your holiday giving mood. When your guard is down and you shop more frequently, you become an easy target. The elderly, in particular, are regularly victims of holiday scams.
Holiday Shopping Scams
Simply being aware there might be more scammers than usual helps you stay out of their clutches. They are counting on you being distracted while shopping, so a little awareness goes a long way to keep you safe.
Scammers may snare victims in stores or over the phone, but now more than ever, many shopping scams take place online.
One way scammers fool victims is by creating fake shopping or charity-donation sites. Depending on how skillful a scammer is, a site may or may not appear to be a convincing imitation of the real thing. The web address may appear similar to the real one, but it won’t be identical. It may contain extra words or be spelled differently. For example, instead of amazon.com, a scam site might have a web address like amazondeals1234.com.
If you followed a link to a site, protect yourself by double-checking the web address to make sure you are in the right place. If anything about the site appears strange or unusual, such as grammatical mistakes or poorly designed pages, back out of the site. Then, type the web address of the real site into your browser and go there directly.
Sneaky scammers can drain the value out of gift cards that are sold in stores. They do this by photographing the account and PIN numbers from a card, then putting the card back for someone to purchase. They can then use the numbers to make purchases online, or create a physical card using a device that writes magnetic strips.
To protect yourself, make sure the PIN number on any card you buy hasn’t been exposed.
Scams Against the Elderly
Older people are the most vulnerable to scams, not only during the holiday season, but year-round. If you have elderly loved ones, talk to them about being careful with their personal and financial information.
An Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help
Our elder abuse attorneys have been helping victims of elderly financial abuse for decades. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of a scam, an elder abuse attorney can help. Call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 281-8515 to find out more.