Scams have become a part of our everyday lives, unfortunately: Between the phishing emails and texts pretending to be government officials or online retailers needing your personal information and robocalls warning of money owed, it can be exhausting. And these criminals don’t rest during the season of goodwill. In fact, they seem to ramp up their efforts to perpetrate fraud, according to a new AARP Fraud Watch NetworkTM report.
Based on an AARP survey of 2,012 U.S. consumers age 18 and older, the report, “Preparing for the Holidays? So Are Criminals: Already Rampant Fraud Expected to Spike,” finds that three-quarters of U.S. consumers have experienced or been targeted by at least one form of fraud that can be tied to the holidays, including requests from (often fake) charities, online shopping scams and fraudulent communications about shipping problems.
“You’re going to get more emails and texts for legitimate holiday shopping deals this time of year,” says Kathy Stokes, AARP’s Director of Fraud Prevention, Fraud Watch Network. “But you may get just as many that are scams. And these criminals are so good at what they do, it can be hard to tell the difference.”