The holidays are a popular time for these scams. Holiday scam calls should be a severe concern for your family and can come in many forms. Avoiding holiday scams can be difficult. The best way to avoid holiday scams is to be aware of them. Be wary of giving out personal information.
Holiday Scam Calls in the US: The Target
Scammers target people who are vulnerable and may be easy to manipulate. For example, if you're elderly or disabled, it's much easier for scammers to get your personal information than for someone younger.
Additionally, people who have a family member in the hospital can be particularly susceptible because they feel helpless and alone as their loved one deals with medical issues. If you're lonely or depressed due to recent losses or other hardships (such as job loss), then scammers know that they can count on these emotions being present during the holiday season—and they'll use them against you!
Common Holiday Scams
- Christmas gift scams
- Christmas charity scams
- Christmas prize scams
- Holiday charity scams
The hype around holidays often makes these types of scams so effective. People get excited about the holidays, and when they see something that seems too good to be true, it's easy for them to lose their heads and fall prey to online scammers.
Scammers are more active during the holidays. There are two reasons for this: first, it's the busiest time of year for everyone—and second, more people are on vacation than at any other time.
For example, if you live in New York City and work as an investment banker downtown (which is likely), chances are good that you will be traveling out of state around Thanksgiving and Christmas. This makes it easier for scammers to get hold of your phone number or email address because there's no one around who can verify whether or not they're legitimate companies offering deals on holiday gift cards (or whatever).
Holiday scams should be a severe concern for your family. Scammers are hard to detect, and they can be very persistent in their efforts to defraud you. They may even trick you into giving up your credit card number or other financial data by claiming that you have won a prize or additional payment from a company that does not exist!
Suppose someone calls pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In that case, it's essential for you to not only answer their questions truthfully but also keep any sensitive information about yourself private until after the call has ended so that no one else can access this information inappropriately. If possible, do not share personal information over unsecured phone lines; instead, use email or text messaging!
Avoiding Holiday Scams
You might be thinking, "What's the big deal? I'll ignore them, and they'll go away."
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated in trying to trick their victims into parting with money or personal information.
1. The best way to avoid a holiday scam is to be aware of them.
The best way to avoid holiday scams is to be aware of them. You may have heard about them by word of mouth, or maybe you saw one on TV and decided it was worth investigating further. Either way, there are plenty of reasons why these calls should make you think twice before answering your phone:
- The caller could be someone threatening you for months or years—and now they're calling during the holidays? That doesn't sound right at all!
- The caller could be an imposter posing as someone else (like an employee at your bank). Your bank will never call unless they need help with something concerning their services. This is just another form of identity theft where criminals try to trick people into sharing personal information to steal money from accounts owned by those individuals.
2. Be wary of giving out personal information.
The best way to avoid these scams is by being vigilant and checking your bank account frequently. If you see anything suspicious in your account, notify the bank immediately so they can investigate and stop any fraudulent activity before it's done.
Sometimes the goal is to steal your money or trick you into giving out information they can use. Scammers are always trying to trick you into giving out information they can use. Here are some tips for avoiding scams:
- Don't give out personal information such as your name, address, and phone number. If a caller asks for this information, hang up and call the police immediately at 911 or your local law enforcement agency.
- Don't give out credit card numbers or bank account numbers over the phone unless you're sure it's legit (for example, if someone says they're from Microsoft). And never provide personal details like Social Security numbers or mother's maiden name over the phone!
3. Don't Engage With Unknown Numbers
If you receive a call or an SMS from an unknown number, it is best not to respond.
If you answer the call, whoever is on the other end will probably try to get your name and address. Then it's only a matter of time before they figure out they shouldn't have what they do.
If someone calls you out of the blue asking for money or goods, hang up without saying anything else, and do not engage with them in any way—don't even attempt to converse.
4. National Do Not Call Registry
Registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry can reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive.
Here are the steps:
- You can register free of charge even if you have a mobile or home phone.
- Other organizations, like charities and political parties, may still call you despite your registration.
- If you haven't been able to get an obnoxious call stopped after listing your number on the National Registry for 31 days, report it to the FTC.
Registering won't stop automated marketing calls, but it does allow the government to hold companies accountable. You can contact your phone service provider for help if you have questions about these calls.
5. Consider Call Blockers for Landline
You can buy and install an inexpensive call-blocking device if your home phone is a traditional landline (not VoIP). You can stop unsolicited calls on your landline by using call-blocking tools or devices, allowing you to screen and block incoming calls.
The number of blocked phone numbers you can create and maintain varies from device to device—some use databases of well-known scammers' phone numbers. In contrast, others rely on your ability to add them manually.
CPR Call Blocker V100K for landline phones has been preloaded with 100,000 known scam/nuisance numbers reported to the FCC. Once the call blocker is connected, this can significantly reduce robocalls, scam calls, political, election, and general nuisance calls.
Holiday scams are a real problem and can be challenging to prevent. The best way to avoid them is by being aware of what's happening around you and taking action if something seems suspicious. If you notice any suspicious behavior or receive an unexpected call, you mustn't ignore these signs and just let the call go through without reporting it.
Our call blockers protect you and your family from unsolicited phone calls and allow you to unwind at home. If you need to sort calls, check out our products or give us a call so we can help.