FBI warns public about holiday scammers
December 04, 2018 06:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Tis’ the season for giving, but before folks open their pocketbooks, they should beware of predators looking to prey on your generosity.
Criminals may be targeting all of those holiday activities people regularly do.
While scams can come in many different forms, like Santa letters or online greeting cards, the criminals are typically all after the same things, money and your personal information.
“Every time is the right time for a scammer but particularly now where people are probably a little more stressed with the holidays and giving,” said Javier Almodovar, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, Albuquerque field office.
That means the public should cautious if when receiving charity solicitations both online and from unknown charities. Almodovar said before sending money, double-check that it's legit.
The BBB website has a quick search for that.
According to the BBB website, people should also be wary of free gift card offers and unusual method of payment requests.
“Just hang up. With any documentation, with pertinent information shred it,” said Almodovar. “With any emails, if you don't recognize it, delete it, so those would be the best things to do.”
Almodovar and other experts talked with community members Tuesday at Bear Canyon Senior Center in Northeast Albuquerque.
The FBI and IRS were warning not just of holiday scams but all the different way people, especially the elderly, can be tricked.
“It happens more often than we realize but the problem is they are rarely reported due to embarrassment or other reasons,” Almodovar said.
Ann Neuweiler, a frequent senior center visitor, said she fell victim, not too long ago, to the false promise of a new roof, for free.
“I didn't think that it would ever happen to me,” she said. “A friend set me up.”
She ended up writing two checks for a couple of thousand dollars without any sign of a new roof.
“If it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t,” said Neuweiler.
Updated: December 04, 2018 06:32 PM
Created: December 04, 2018 05:01 PM
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