This time of year especially, thieves and con artists scheme to trick people of all ages into sending money or personal information. Using modern technology and old fashioned deceit, these swindlers often succeed. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones against these scams.
Stay Aware and Informed
Educate yourself and your loved ones about current scams. For example, open enrollment for insurance typically happens in November and December. That’s why seasonal scammers are out there, contacting you with clever attempts to extract money or personal information. You can search online to investigate a company or product. But beware: sometimes these crooks even create phony websites. Be extremely cautious before clicking anything. You can also sign up to receive scam alerts from trusted sources, such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Watch Out for Imposters
Scammers know how easy it can be to trick people unexpectedly. With a little information, they can pretend to be someone else. They may imitate a favorite charity, a government office, a company you do business with, or even a family member. They will spoof you using common communication channels such as phone calls, texts, emails, etc.
Hang Up the Phone
Robocalls are rampant today. If you receive a pre-recorded solicitation call, hang up immediately. These calls are designed to exploit unsuspecting individuals. Unsolicited robocalls are illegal; the goods and services they hawk are usually scams. It’s better to hang up without any interaction. Pressing 1 to talk to a person or to be removed from the call list could lead to more unwanted robocalls.
Get an Outside Perspective
Scammers are out in full force during the holiday season. If you’ve encountered a suspicious-looking offer or communique, talk to a trusted individual who can provide helpful advice.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.