It’s the time of year that brings people joy and stress during the holiday season.
Did you know you can fall victim to losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars with just a few simple clicks on a smart phone or a phone call?
The holidays can be distracting times of the year with family and shopping, making it way easier for your financial information to be stolen quickly.
‘Tis the season for holiday scamming.
While the season of giving can be delightful, for others it can be alarming.
Patty Puline knows first hand how quickly personal financial information can be stolen, even with a good disguise.
“I received a letter in the mail yesterday from Verizon and it says Verizon on the top of the letterhead. It has a return envelope that says Verizon, so why wouldn’t I think it was coming from Verizon?” said Patty Puline, scam victim.
The return address on the envelope was also an authentic Verizon location.
What seemed to be a legitimate company document soon raised suspicions when Puline called to verify her account number.
Con artists pretending to be Verizon employees asked Puline for her social security number and that is when she knew it was too good to be true.
“I Google searched this phone number, 866 number, and I see that it’s a scam. A lot of people have been scammed by this same Verizon number,” said Puline.
Con artists look to make you act quickly by giving your financial information over the phone or with a few simple clicks.
“Con artists use scare tactics to scare us into thinking there is something wrong so we don’t really have time to process it, we just provide the information the con artist is looking for,” said Pamela Marlowe, Public Relations Coordinator, Better Business Bureau.
Scammers also have the ability to change phone number ID’s, making it seem like your in contact with a credible company.
There are ways to keep your information safe, especially during the holiday season.
According to the Better Business Bureau, tips include looking for a lock on the website, make sure the website is secure, do your research, know what company your buying from, and make sure they have a physical address or company address. That way you can verify the company is legitimate before giving out your information.
The Better Business Bureau also advises parents to be aware of their children’s purchases as many websites can look authentic.