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Holiday Scams: The Gift that Keeps on Taking

Three out of four US adults ages 18+ have been targeted by or experienced at least one form of fraud.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a monumental impact on consumers' social and purchasing behavior — namely, moving more consumers online for social visits, purchases, and banking. With many COVID-related restrictions lifted and holiday shopping around the corner, AARP conducted a survey to examine what type of shopping consumers expect to engage in and how aware they are of potential fraud from searching for the perfect gift to sending it to the recipient. 

The survey was conducted between October 8, 2021 and October 17, 2021 by ANR Market Research Consultants (ANR).  ANR completed 1,027 telephone interviews.  Respondents were screened to be U.S. residents age 18 or older who use the internet at least occasionally and shop for gifts, food, or decorations for a holiday, observance, or event during the months of November through January.  All data have been weighted by age, gender, and race/ethnicity according to 2019 Census Bureau five-year American Community Survey statistics.

Read the Detailed Findings

For more information, please contact Jennifer Sauer at For media inquiries, please contact External Relations at


Suggested citation:

Sauer, Jennifer. Holiday Scams: The Gift That Keeps on Taking. An AARP Survey of U.S. Adults 18+. Washington, DC: AARP Research, November 2021.

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An AARP National Fraud Frontiers Report

A national report on the incidence of scam encounters among US adults, as well as financial losses and factors affecting fraud susceptibility.

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