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Seniors are targeted year-round by online and telephone scammers, but the holiday season really brings out the Grinch in all of them with a bunch of new tricks up their sleeves. They know that seniors are more vulnerable to their scams than younger generations and that’s why they focus on them. Seniors have retirement savings and Social Security income making them a ripe target. They tend to be more polite and trusting and can be lonely and looking to talk to someone. They could also be suffering from cognitive and hearing challenges, and if they have been scammed are often reluctant to admit it to friends and family.
So here are some of the top holiday scams to look out for this holiday season:
Watch out for fake charities and other attempts to prey on a kind and generous heart.
Many people do their holiday shopping online so watch out for fake retailers and special Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions that are too good to be true.
Scammers will call posing as a grandchild or as a friend of a relative in distress. They will ask for money to get them out of trouble that needs to be sent to them immediately.
Scammers know that millions of people will travel during the holidays. Watch out for fake travel booking services and travel deals tricking you into giving them your money.
Knowing what scams to look for is one thing but knowing how to avoid being scammed when you are approached is another. Here are some ways to avoid being scammed:
When it comes to identifying and avoiding scams, look for red flags such as being pressured to give information or money right away. There is no situation that requires you to act on the spot without first double-checking that the situation is legitimate. Seniors need to be on guard all year long, but they should be extra cautious during the holiday season to avoid ending up with lumps of coal in their stockings.