This is the season for giving … and unfortunately, there are scam artists ready and waiting to take advantage of your generosity. There have been scammers since the beginning of time who rely on your trusting natures and kind hearts to allow them to take advantage of you. This year we can fool them by being prepared for their phone calls or other fraudulent requests.
During the holidays it is likely you will see an increase in requests from charitable organizations, but it is also a busy time for scam artists. Scammers use sound alike names of well known and respected charities. They also invent charities that tug at your heart such as ones for “needy children” or “veterans” or “victims of disasters”. Be prepared to say no to any and all requests if you are not one hundred percent certain it is legitimate.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
- Never give out personal information over the phone or in person – even if it is someone you know. Always ask WHY they need it.
- Do not share your social security number, bank account information or credit card information with anyone
- Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry at 888-382-1222 to try to prevent unwanted solicitation calls
- Do not pay money upfront to someone who says you’ve won a prize
- Beware of offers that seem too good to be true
- Never wire money to someone you don’t know
- Never open the door for someone you don’t know
- Hang up the phone if the person on the other end is making you uncomfortable
- Stick to the charities you know
- Talk to friends, family or authorities and let them know if you feel someone has tried to scam you
- Never be afraid to say NO.