Avoid holiday scams this season
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, including scammers! That is why it is critical we stay ahead of them to make sure consumers of all ages are aware of which scams are being perpetrated and how to avoid them. Please read and share the attached AARP Foundation ElderWatch Smart Tips on avoiding holiday scams. The Colorado Attorney General’s office also offers an excellent booklet on holiday scams.
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Recently, there has be an uptick in reports of scam calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. During these calls the scammer tells their potential victim that they will not be receiving their Social Security check because they have been “blacklisted” or they are in trouble with the authorities. We believe one of the reasons these calls have “bubbled up” might be because people are aware of the IRS scam and scammers are looking for a different way to scare their victim into sending money or sharing their personal information.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide a convenient way to connect with friends and family. It is important to remember that scammers also use these platforms to find victims. Scammers often create fake profiles and pretend to either be someone you know, someone you want to know or an entity you trust. Because there are fake profiles it is difficult to know who you can trust. The following are some red flags that you might be targeted by a scammer on Facebook or other social media platform:
Fraud. Seal and imprint
On TV or in publications some products advertise free trial offers that claim to be “risk free.” However, some “free” trial offers end up being traps that lock consumers into plans that charge recurring fees that happen automatically.
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Jury duty scams are one of the most common and tricky variations of imposter scams out there. Typically these scams begin with a phone call where the scammer identifies themselves as an officer of the court or from the local sheriff’s department. The scammer then claims you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest.
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Are you looking to escape the cold and hit the beach this winter? On a snowy day, soaking up some sun in a tropical location sounds pretty nice!  
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‘Tis the season for excessive shopping and since many people will purchase their holiday gifts online, this is a good time to brush up on some internet safety tips. Here are a few reminders for protecting your personal and financial information while shopping online:
The ElderWatch Helpline has been fielding lots of calls about the “Say Yes” scam. Many news reports have warned that a scammer will call and ask a question to get the victim to say “Yes.” Then, reportedly, the scammer records that “Yes” to use it to authorize unwanted charges to a phone bill, utility bill or a credit card.
Scammers posing as IRS agents or Treasury Department officials are continuing their deceptive ways. First and foremost, it is important to remember the IRS will first contact you through the mail. If you receive a phone call or suspicious email or text from the IRS, chances are it’s a scammer posing as an IRS agent. Are you still unsure? Here are some red flags that the call, email or text you received is not really the IRS:
The holidays and the end of the year are upon us, which means it is time for giving. In a recent survey, the AARP Foundation ElderWatch found that while 80 percent of Coloradans give to charity, 46 percent of those who gave made contributions without verifying the legitimacy of the charity. Before you give, take these simple steps to ensure the money you are donating is going to the intended cause:
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