Giving is at the heart of every holiday season. But as people focus on giving through gifts, volunteering, and donating to different causes, scams increase during this time of year. This post discusses what to be aware of and how to protect yourself this season against holiday scams.
Common Holiday Scams
Scams happen online all the time because the internet is a big place. There are a few scams that pop up during the holidays:
Charity Scams: Usually taking the form of phone calls from telemarketers and fake websites, a poll conducted by the AARP found that as many as 38% of people have received fake donation requests.
Delivery Scams: A popular addition to your email’s spam folder, these seemingly legitimate emails make people believe they’ve missed a package delivery from a package that doesn’t exist. Links from the email lead to websites that steal your information.
Travel Scams: Presented as email offers and fake travel websites with travel deals that seem too good to be true. Because they are.
Gift Card Scams: When purchasing items online, especially through a marketplace like Facebook or Craigslist, or eBay, you may receive a message from a seller asking for payment in gift cards. Or a friend or family member might ask for a series of gift cards through email. Purchasing gift cards and then sending the information by email results in the loss of the gift card and the money used to buy it.
Tips to Stay Safe
Anyone can be taken in by holiday scams. But seniors may fall victim to them more often because they may not pick up on the little details that indicate a scam. It’s easy to open links, emails, and websites that don’t seem familiar, but appear legitimate, even from family members. If you or a loved one has embraced the internet more recently, make sure to follow good internet practices like:
- Don’t open links, emails, or websites without checking the URL or email address to make sure it’s genuine.
- Visit the website in question in a separate browser if in doubt. If you receive an email or a text from someone you know, contact them directly to verify they sent it. The same goes for social media requests or posts.
- Use good passwords and find a solution like a password manager to keep track of them. If you do accidentally give away some information, a strong password may prevent your account from being hacked.
To help keep your loved ones safe this holiday season, consider reaching out to Optimal Senior Care Solutions to learn about senior assistance at home. Our team of care experts will be happy to assist you. Reach out to us today!