Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office Warns of Holiday Scams

by Patrick Herron

Per the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office: For most of us, the holidays are full of giving, getting and goodwill. But some bad actors use the holidays to take advantage of people’s generous spirits. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching and they are prime time for crooks looking to scam you out of money or personal financial information.

Holiday Shopping Scams

  • Protect your personal information. Avoid sharing personal or credit card information over public Wi-Fi. Only make purchases when you are connected to a secure network.
  • There may appear to be deals galore over the holidays but remember to carefully read reviews, look for security credentials on websites, and research unfamiliar retailers.
  • Always pay by credit card and keep receipts so you can request a refund if there is an issue. Never wire money or pay by gift card.

Holiday Mail Scams

  • When we buy and mail gifts over the holidays, scammers see opportunities.
  • After we order a package, the shipping company often sends us text or email updates regarding our order status. Scammers will send phishing emails pretending to be from companies like FedEx and UPS. Look closely at delivery notifications and email updates before you click on links or input information. And remember, UPS and FedEx won’t ask for personal information via email.
  • Porch poachers might steal packages from your doorstep. Always get a tracking number for your package. You can also set up a different delivery address with a neighbor or have your package held at the post office.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam, please contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint at ftc.gov Keep an eye out for common scams in your area with the BBB Scam Tracker.

Feeling charitable? Make sure your charity of choice is legitimate by visiting give.org or charitynavigator.org For more information on frauds targeting senior citizens, visit the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office website

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