Common Scams During the Holidays (and Year-Round)
It’s the season of giving, but not everyone is on the nice list during the holidays! Scammers become more prevalent during this time of year, exploiting people who are busy with the holidays.
“These scams do not discriminate on who can fall victim. Trust yourself if you have an uneasy feeling about an email, phone call, or text message,” said David Murphy, MMCCU President. “Speak with our staff if you have a question about any message you receive or if you have fallen victim to any of these scams. We will not judge nor chastise you for falling for these scams. Scamsters make millions of dollars from these attacks and have become very good at their craft. Our goal is to help protect your money and return your sense of security as best as possible.”
We’ve compiled a list of common scams to be aware of both during this festive time of year, and all year-long:
Imposter Scams – A scammer who pretends to be someone you trust, such as a government agency, family member, love interest, or someone claiming there is something wrong with your computer
Debt Relief & Credit Repair Scams – Scammers will offer to lower your credit interest rates, fix your credit, or get your student loans forgiven
Charity Scams – Scams requesting donations for disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone
Travel & Timeshare Scams – Scammers lie and tell you they’ll sell your timeshare and may even have a buyer lined up – if you pay them first!
“Free” Trials – A caller may promise a free trial, but then sign you up for products for which you are billed every month until you cancel
Prize & Lottery Scams – Scammers will call or email saying you’ve won a prize, but then say you need to pay taxes, registration fees, or shipping charges to get it
Loan Scams – Scammers target people with poor credit history and guarantee loans or credit cards for an up-front fee. Legitimate lenders don’t make guarantees like that.
Business & Investment Scams – Callers might promise to help you start your own business and give you business coaching or guarantee big profits from an investment
Anyone could fall victim to a scam, so it’s important to be wary. If you have any concerns or questions about a financial request or feel like something is not quite right, please don’t hesitate to contact us!