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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, December 3, 2018

Scammers Working Overtime for the Holidays

While this is the time of year when we should be in a celebratory mood, it is unfortunately for our seniors a time of year when they need to be extra cautious. That’s because scammers who victimize our older population work even harder this time of year.

Scammers continue to use the traditional schemes to take advantage of our seniors but there are a group of traps they use specifically for the holidays.

The first is fake charities. This is a time of year when legitimate charities reach out to people for donations. This is done in two ways. Scammers may try to impersonate legitimate charities, or they may approach you for donations to fictitious charities. Either way, you must be very cautious about people who claim to be representing charitable organizations seeking money.

If you’re buying something that needs to be delivered to you, make sure you fully understand the cost – including shipping charges. Scammers will often include excessive shipping charges.

You should watch out as well for hidden subscription charges. This is very common with as many as 35 percent of U.S. adults enrolled in accounts that pull automatic payments for which they are not aware. This number increases significantly with seniors.

Finally, there are online ordering tricks. These are more common this time of year when we are purchasing more. And while this occurs with any consumer, seniors are more likely to fall victim to it.

So as a general rule, make sure you know who you are giving credit card or payment information to. And if you are uncertain, please ask someone you know and trust for help.



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