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Holiday Scams Are ‘Snow’ Joke!

AARP Foundation ElderWatch Survey of Coloradans 50+ on Seasonal Scams

​​In October 2018, the AARP Foundation conducted a survey of Colorado adults ages 50 and older who indicate they intend to shop for gifts and services as part of a holiday celebration during the months of October, November, December, and January. The survey explored behaviors they engage in that might put them at risk for being a target or victim of a scam, if they had experienced or been victimized by a scam, and how much they knew about avoiding holiday scams. 

spinner image Four white gift tags with red ribbons. Tags spell scam Sisperova

Data from this survey shows that many Coloradans ages 50 and older will be shopping this holiday season both in stores and online via their smartphones or personal computing devices. While most are concerned about the security of their personal identification information when making purchases, many are not knowledgeable about or taking preventative measures to protect their personal information or money from being stolen and misused.

Key findings include:

  • One in ten (13%) older Coloradans have been given/purchased a gift card that was already redeemed/had no money on it, and half (51%) don't know whether gift cards bought from grocery stores are safe from hackers.
  • One in four (25%) don't know they can avoid package theft by telling delivery services where to leave the package, yet one in five (22%) report a package stolen from their or a neighbor's home.
  • Most (67%) are unaware of, yet over two in five (42%) believe they have been solicited by a fraudulent charity.

This survey of 1,003 adults in Colorado ages 50 and older was conducted in October 2018. All data have been weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic distribution according to 2018 Current Population Survey (CPS) Census Bureau statistics. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at For media inquiries, contact