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A holiday survival guide to avoiding scams

Many people look forward to the holidays. Expectations can lead to overspending or worse: getting lured into a scam.

Don’t let your generous or inquisitive nature set you up for one of these common scams:

  1. Charity scams: One-third of all charitable giving is done in December, meaning more sham charities exploiting Americans’ goodwill. This is the most common holiday con, an AARP poll found, with 38 percent of respondents saying they’ve received a fake donation request.
  2. Delivery scams: As holiday packages crisscross the country, scammers send out phishing emails and texts disguised as UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service notifications about incoming or missed deliveries.
  3.  Some criminals send scam emails and texts offering promotions such as free flights. Instead, they steal your credit card information or infect your computer or device with malware.

Keep your money safe this season by:

  1. Paying by credit card. This way you can dispute charges and limit the damage if the transaction was fraudulent.
  2. Buying gifts cards online directly from the issuing business instead of from a retail rack.
  3. Pushy charities could be an indicator that the cause is bogus; legitimate charities will accept your donations on your own timeline.

We hope you’ll enjoy the holidays without the stress of dealing with fraud. But, if you’re a victim, here’s what to do:

  1. Always remember to reach out to us at NorthCountry to block any further fraud from happening.
  2. Report the crime to local law enforcement (here in Vermont
  3. Alert your credit institutions
  4. File a complaint with the FBI
  5. Report the scam to the FTC