The AARP reminds people to stay on top of scams that arise during the holiday season especially

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Charitable solicitations

Check with charities before giving. Fifty-three percent of adults said they don’t always do such a check, which is easy using sites like Charity browser, Charitywatch and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. You can also search online using the name of a charity as well as terms such as “scam” and “complaints”.

Online shopping scams

AARP’s new survey of vacation scams found that 35% of American adults have been victims of fraud while purchasing a product through an online ad.

  • Spot a scam: Scammers will come up with amazing deals for every item on your holiday shopping list. But clicking on the link provided can lead you to a bogus retail website which can be a convincing copy of a legitimate site, or to a completely made-up site.
  • Spot a scam: You may end up buying something that never happens (or what happens is a cheap version of what you expected).
  • Spot a scam: Or, even worse, your visit to the bogus site could allow crooks to download malware onto your device, allowing them to steal IDs and passwords, even from financial accounts.
  • Stop a scam: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Stop a scam: If you’ve never heard of a business before, check it out. 1- Type the name of the company in a web browser with the words “complaint, scam, fraud” and see if anything negative appears. And 2- Check for misspellings, unprofessional website design, limited contact options, or unusual web addresses.
  • Stop a scam: Avoid clicking on links even if you think the post or ad is from a familiar retailer. Instead, go to your web browser and type in the web address you know is the correct one to avoid being sent to a cloned site.

Package delivery scams

The AARP survey shows that 25% of American adults have had a package stolen outside of their home and 34% have received a false notification about a shipment!

  • Spot a scam: The porch hackers are criminals looking for the opportunity to steal packages from people’s front doors – they’re out in force during the busy holiday season.
  • Spot a scam: Scammers will also pretend to be carriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.). They will send fake notifications that there is a problem with a shipment and you need to contact them. But there is no forwarding coming, and all they want is for you to respond and provide money or some personal information.
  • Stop a scam: Rather than having packages delivered to your front door, check with the shipper and find out if the packages can be held at their location until you are notified. Or, ask the carrier to place your packages in a specific location that would be difficult to see from the road.
  • Stop a scam: When it comes to fake carrier notifications, a big red flag is that you haven’t ordered anything and you’re not waiting for packages. Additional red flags are high pressure or “urgent” payment requests or messages asking for personal information.