At the end of every year, around this time, there are a slew of scams that will try to target you both via email and in the form of phone calls. These are the Christmas phone scams that you need to watch out for.
During the winter months scammers call pretending to be from your local utility companies. Power and heating “representatives” will call you and state that they didn’t receive your last payment and because of this they will be shutting off your power and heat. If you live somewhere cold where it starts getting dark at 4pm you know that this would be a horrible thing.
Many people will start to panic about losing power and will share their credit card or bank information with the caller. Sometimes the scammers will ask that the debt be paid with wire transfer or pre-paid gift cards. This should be an immediate red flag.
If you get a call like this, first hang up, and then call back your power company directly via the phone number that appears on their official website or on a previous bill you’ve received.
With the holiday season also begin cuffing season! Everybody would like to have a special someone in their life around the holidays. However, you need to keep your wits about you. Watch out for online love interests who haven’t met you in person yet and who are quick to profess their love. These are both red flags.
Avoid sharing personal information with people that you’ve just met via online dating. Though the person might be amazing it’s important not to share too much information with them and never send a person who you don’t know money.
How to Avoid Christmas Scams
The best way to avoid these types of scams is not to get ahead of yourself. The holidays can be stressful, so don’t stress yourself out even more unnecessarily. Use a caller ID service to identify scams and find information about new people you meet.
Guard your personal information and only share it with the people you know and trust.