Keep these scenarios in mind to protect you and your loved ones from scams.

The holidays are a time that can bring both good cheer and dirty deeds. Scam artists like to pounce when defenses are down and stress levels are high. Follow these tips and watch for the following signs to stay protected from scams this holiday season.  

How to Protect Yourself from Holiday Scams

December 6, 2016

Don't be fooled by these scams this holiday season.

The holidays are a time that can bring both good cheer and dirty deeds. Scam artists like to pounce when defenses are down and stress levels are high. Follow these tips and watch for the following signs to stay protected from scams this holiday season.

Protect yourself from email scams by knowing these four ways to spot a fraudulent email

When online, beware of sending money to charities unknown to you. Always ask questions and do your own research before parting with your funds.

Is that ‘package shipping notification’ that arrived in your email legitimate? Often scammers will send an email that says it is from a national courier service or the US Postal Service. When you click on the link to get shipping information, it can cause a variety of problems -- the worst being that it can activate a virus, allowing the scammer to steal any personal information stored in your device, including usernames, passwords and other sensitive information tied your financial accounts. 

If purchasing the ever popular gift card for the holidays, always buy from behind the counter or from the specific store itself.

Criminals often copy the numbers off the cards in the store aisle and then check online or through the card company’s toll-free number to see if those cards have been activated. Once activated, the funds can be stripped; leaving the purchaser out in the cold.

The elderly are especially vulnerable to scammers and con artists. Loved ones should watch for these signs that a family member may be the target of a scam:

  • Wiring money to cover travel, medical emergencies, or hotel bills for a newfound friend or distant relative.
  • Deposits another’s check into their account and wires cash back to the check writer.
  • ATM withdrawals from locations your older relative could not have traveled.
  • Bills not being paid.
  • Suspicious changes in wills or powers of attorney.

Keeping the above scenarios in mind can help protect your and your loved ones from scams this holiday season. Stay alert and aware, and use tools like Online Banking to keeps tabs on account activity. Find more tips on how to keep your information safe and secure from scammers and hackers here

This article was adapted from our Aspire! member newsletter. See all the articles here

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