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Scammers During the Holidays

Posted on 12/07/23

Scammers don’t take a holiday break. That’s why the AARP Fraud Watch Network offers a full range of free tools and resources to help you spot and avoid common scams during the holidays and throughout the new year.

We know that scammers target people of all ages. Last year 40% of all scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission were from people under the age of 40, and victims over the age of 60 lose the most money to scams on average. This holiday season, connect with your family about these fraud topics:

  • What is a question, story or phrase that no one other than your close family would know? Scams targeting parents and grandparents are only becoming more believable with the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, but no matter how realistic a voice may sound it won’t know this private memory or password.
  • Passwords are another critical topic. We all have so many passwords that it’s hard to keep straight. This leads many to choose simple passwords or use the same one repeatedly. A quick chat about how you choose and protect your passwords could save someone you love a lot of money.
  • Lastly, be willing to share. Too many victims of fraud suffer in silence because they are ashamed to admit what happened to them. The truth is that scammers are sophisticated criminals, and for victims, sharing their stories is the best way to protect others and get the support they need.
AARP is urging lawmakers to create a restitution fund that would help compensate Minnesotans who lose money to fraud schemes. AARP is encouraging residents who have been impacted by fraud to share their stories at www.aarp.org/MNstories.
Be on the lookout for these common holiday scams.
Learn how to identify sham discounts and fake websites.
Learn how to spot fake shipping notifications.
Give with confidence by knowing ways to spot fraudulent charities.
Find out how criminals drain gift cards.

When it comes to fraud, knowledge gives you power over scams. Count on the AARP Fraud Watch Network for insights and guidance that boost your scam radar during the holidays and every day.


New on The Perfect ScamSM podcast! Holiday Scams: What to Look Out for This Season.


If you’ve been targeted by a scam, get guidance on next steps from trained fraud specialists. Call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877‑908‑3360, toll‑free, Mo‍nday–F‍riday, 8 a‍.m. to 8 p‍.m. E‍T.


Watch our on-demand webinar, Avoid Scams This Holiday Season and Beyond, anytime to learn the three main tactics scammers use. You’ll hear tips for detecting and avoiding popular holiday scams.

This story is provided by AARP Minnesota. Visit the AARP Minnesota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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