Don’t fall for Scams This Holiday Season!

‘Tis the season for family meals, colorful decorations and . . . scams?! During the holiday season, there is often an uptick in scams that try to find people’s credit card or personal information by posing as someone else. Scams can happen over email or over the phone, and often affects elderly people. To keep yourself and your family safe from scams over the holiday season, here is what you need to know.

Learn to Identify a Scam

Scammers use many tricks and often pose as someone else, like an employee at Amazon or a police officer. Sometimes, their deceit may seem obvious, but oftentimes, scammers are very good at building rapport and trust to get people to fall for their scheme. Some common types of scams include:

  • Travel packages
  • Offers pertaining to credit or loans, like an offer to lower your interest rate or improve your credit score
  • Business or investment opportunities. For example, someone may ask you to invest money to help them start a business or sell a product. Their scenarios are fabricated, and they rely on the complexity of investments and business to trick people.
  • Charitable causes. After a natural disaster, particularly mean-spirited people might attempt to collect “donations” for a made-up charity.
  • Foreign lotteries. Often operating from Canada, these calls promise exciting chances for American citizens to win money in foreign lotteries. Cross-border sales of lottery tickets are against the law, making this scam highly illegal.
  • Free trial offers. When you start a “free” trial, you may get signed up for months of products (that you have to pay for) and it can be difficult to unsubscribe

Other warning signs of a scam call include promises of “free” prizes or urges to make your decision right away. Scammers may be pushy, fast-talking, or attempt to pressure you into signing up for a service or giving them your information.

Shutting Down a Scammer

  • If you have caller ID, don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. If it’s someone important, they’ll leave a message.
  • Avoid emails that look suspicious, even if they claim to be coming from a source like Amazon.
  • When greeted by a robotic voice (a robocall), hang up the phone. Even if you’re speaking to a live person, but feel uncomfortable at any point, it’s okay to hang up, too.
  • Research a company, charity, or product before agreeing to send any donations or monetary support
  • Even if you think an offer is legitimate, resist the pressure to make an immediate decision
  • Register your number with the do-not-call list https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0133-cell-phones-and-do-not-call-registry
  • Report any rude, aggressive, or suspicious callers at gov/complaint

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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