December is a time to celebrate the Holidays with family & friends. There’s a genuine good feeling in the air and everyone is in the Holiday spirit. Unfortunately, there are those who like to take advantage of this time of year for bad intentions.
AARP has set out to make people aware of these scams before they happen to you.
Two notable scams are:
Purchase your gift cards wisely:
Thieves will use a portable scanner to scan the numbers off of the back of gift cards that are left out in the open. This includes the important scratch-off PIN number needed for online purchases. The cards are put back on the rack for people to buy and become activated. Thieves call and verify if the cards are activated. Once a card is activated, they are able to get the amount of the card and make online purchases with the card you bought! Make sure to always purchase gift cards that are located behind the counter or off of a website. Always retain the receipt for gift cards.
Give the gift of charity to reputable organizations:
Many people also choose this time of year to donate to the less fortunate. When doing so, do not donate to just any organization without first researching it. Be wary of donating over the phone. Always make sure they are using the appropriate organization name and not a similar sounding name. Popular solicitations that can be used for scamming people with good hearts are knock-off organizations that benefit disabled veterans, police and firefighters. Always check a charity’s legitimacy.
To read the entire list of Holiday scams, visit the AARP’s website here