According to the AARP, “three-quarters of U.S. consumers have experienced or been targeted by at least one form of fraud that can be tied to the holidays, including requests from (often fake) charities, online shopping scams and fraudulent communications about shipping problems.”
Unfortunately, scammers can rob you of hard-earned money, personal information, and, at the very least, a festive mood. When shopping online during the holiday season—or any time of year—always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Do your part to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offers some helpful tips to avoid holiday shopping scams on their website. The Federal Trade Commission encourages consumers to report fraud by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.
And, if you receive any suspicious phone calls over the holidays, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t pick up the phone if you don’t recognize the number.
- Never give out personal information over the phone.
- Don’t press any numbers as this indicates to the caller that there is a live person on the line, and this will likely lead to more calls.
- Request to take down the number of the caller and call them back.
And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay safe this holiday season!