With the holidays around the corner, the season is bright with gift giving and compassion for others. The season is also a perfect time to be scammed, especially for the elderly. Taking precautions and being aware during this holiday season can keep you and your loved ones from being victimized.
Here are 3 Tips to prevent fraud or scamming this holiday season:
- Before offering your help to someone who claims to be a grandchild (or other relative/friend), be sure to telephone your family to verify that the emergency or urgent request is genuine.
- Beware of a caller who insists on secrecy. Never allow anyone to discourage you from seeking information, verification, support and counsel from family members, friends or trusted advisers prior to making any financial transaction.
- Take the following precautions to make sure your charitable donations benefit the people and organizations you want to help. If a caller claims to be from an established organization such as a hospital, charity, or law enforcement agency, look up the number of the organization independently and verify the claim before sending money.
- Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
- Then, call the charity directly. Ask if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
- If you have received a letter from the IRS stating that you owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 for information.
- The IRS will neither call to demand immediate payment, nor call without first mailing a bill. And, the IRS does not require you to use a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card nor will they threaten you with arrest for not paying.
How are you being more careful with your interactions this holiday season? Have you or a loved one been scammed? Please let us hear about it by commenting below.
Read more about Scams Targeting Older People During the Holidays