‘Tis the season of giving, which means it’s time for online shopping, in-store purchases, giveaway contests and charitable donations. Unfortunately, with every credit card swipe, gift card purchase, social media ad clicked or package delivered, there is a chance of a scam or other fraudulent activity.
The newest holiday scams on the rise in New York and across the country rely on victims’ familiarity with legitimate services, and seniors are often on the other side of the scammer’s intentions.
Below are 4 scams to look out for this holiday season so you can protect yourself and your elder loved ones:
A common scam this shopping season involves a text or email asking the victim to click a link in order to receive a package’s delivery date or location, provide delivery instructions or select payment preferences.
Since these communications may look legitimate, it’s important to always contact the shipper or company you’re supposedly dealing with directly – through their verified company website or customer service number – not the text or email you received, or the link included in the message.
Clicking the link could infect your computer or mobile device with malware or allow the hacker to access your personal information or passwords, leading to identity theft.
Another popular scam involves receiving a text or email asking the victim to purchase multiple gift cards. These communications may appear to come from a family member, close friend, or co-worker claiming to need help with purchasing the gift cards. It’s important to think before you act. Contact the person you are supposedly receiving the text or email from and confirm they made this request.
Be wary of texts or emails claiming your Amazon, PayPal or bank account has endured unusual activity and has been locked, asking the victim to click a link in order to unlock the account. Especially during times of higher spending, it can be easy to fall for this scam if you act without thinking. It’s important to call your account provider through a verified number before clicking the link or giving any personal information.
Nearly one third of all charitable donations are made during the month of December. Scammers will create fake charities asking the victim to make a donation, generally based on interests or information they have collected on you. It’s important to do your own research on the charity you’re interested in donating to before giving away your personal and financial information.
As we move into the holidays, it’s important to keep your eyes open these senior scams that are on the rise.
If you have any questions about how to protect your elder loved ones, please contact our elder law firm on Long Island! At Cona Elder Law, we’re happy to provide answers and offer any guidance about our elder law, estate planning or estate administration services.
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