Common Holiday Scams and How to Spot Them
The Holidays are a busy time of year, and people are caught up in the Holiday spirit. For con artists, this is the perfect time to execute the perfect Holiday scam. People are generally more apt to give to charities, conduct easy transactions for purchases, and spend money. Here are some of the most common Holiday robocall scams and how to spot them.
Robocall Scams to Watch Out For this Holiday Season
Great Deal Scam
A blinking link or a high energy phone call advertises a limited time deal that is too good to be true! Most likely, this deal is too good to be true because it isn’t. This scam is generally tough to assess for those unfamiliar, but luckily can be easily found out with minimal research. Online, look for blinking links, lack of contact information, and unsecured information requests. If you receive a phone call, you should generally avoid automated phone calls. If the person calling is insistent or won’t let the offer go, or claims that this is your only opportunity to act, this is another indication that this may be a scam. If you suspect there is something amiss, take down the company name and contact information and do a quick Google search to see if others have had bad experiences.
Gift Card Scams
Gift card scams are popular around the holidays, and come in all shapes and sizes. One very frequent gift card scam is to tell the intended target they are the recipient of a gift card reward. Be wary if this comes in the form of an automated call, or requires the exchange of personal information over the phone or online to “claim” your prize.
Unfortunately, some gift card scams take a more sinister approach. One scam the media has heavily warned against is a scam which targets the elderly. The scammer tells the target that someone they know is in danger, and requests gift card purchases as ransom. If this happens to you, go straight to the police.
Perhaps one of the most confusing scams for people are charitable requests. Because of the holiday season, people want to spread the wealth and give where they can. This makes it unfortunately easy for scammers posing as charitable organizations to take advantage of generous people. Avoid giving any personal information over the telephone, and never give payment to a charity you are not familiar with on first contact, especially if they call or show up at your door. Always offer to make a payment in the future, and contact them back.
Avoid these holiday tricks and have a holiday season without falling for robocall scams!