Tips to avoid holiday scams

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Tech support scams are a billion dollar industry. They happen over the phone and online. The goal of the scammer is to take control of your computer remotely, tell you that you have viruses that can be fixed for a fee, then get you to fork over your credit card number. If you get a tech support call out of the blue, hang up. You should also avoid clicking on pop-up notices that say you have a problem with your computer. If you are experiencing a problem with your computer, call your computer’s operating system tech support.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

Gift card scam

Buying gift cards this holiday season? Skip the rack. Fraud experts report that thieves sometimes hit store gift card racks, secretly scan the numbers on the cards, then check online or call the toll-free number to see if anyone has bought and activated the cards. Once the card is active, the scammer drains the funds. If you do buy gift cards, keep your receipt – there’s a chance the merchant will reimburse you for the face value of a card that has been drained.

 

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

As you head out for last-minute holiday shopping, leave the debit card at home. Consumer protection experts recommend using credit cards to protect you from fraud and theft. With credit cards, you are liable for only up to $50 of fraudulent use and most credit card companies will waive this fee. In the case of a lost or stolen debit card, financial losses to the consumer can be much more significant. Call your bank for details.

 

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

Last year, Americans gave over $373 billion to charity. Government officials who regulate charities and fundraisers say that most charities are legitimate, but there are fundraisers that keep most of the money they raise. As you consider year-end giving, do your research. Check out charities at www.give.org or www.charitynavigator.org to make sure your money is going where it should and not into the pockets of scammers!

 

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Tips to avoid holiday scams