Friday, January 28, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Ho Ho Ho! Don't Get Scammed Buying Holiday Gifts

Play

Tuesday, December 7, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- Holiday goodwill doesn't extend to scammers, but experts say peace of mind is possible with common sense strategies to avoid schemes that steal your joy and your money.

Successful scammers spend a whole year coming up with new strategies and methods to bilk consumers buying gifts for family and friends.

Beverly Gor, executive council volunteer for AARP Texas, said if your plan is to buy gift cards from a big-box store, make sure they have not been stripped of their value prior to purchase.

"There are some criminals who know how to drain your gift card of its value, and our survey found that 21% of U.S. adults gave or received a gift card with no value on it," Gor reported.

If you fall victim to a scam, Gor said you should immediately contact the store or law enforcement.

Gor recently heard from an elderly woman who stopped just short of giving private information over the phone after the caller claimed she owed money and seemed like an authority because she knew her address, the value of her home and other information easily gleaned from the internet.

"They knew things about her that led her to believe that they were a legitimate caller," Gor explained. "A lot of those things are on the county tax rolls, so anybody can go there. They can figure out things about you and make it sound like they're sincere."

When it comes to charity donations, Gor recommended to make sure it is the correct website before entering credit card information, because scammers are known to use lookalike names.

"People putting up what they call "clone" websites," Gor pointed out. "It would trick people, deceive people into clicking on something, and they will go to a fraudulent site and give information."

The AARP survey found nearly 40% of Americans received requests from charities that felt fake or fraudulent.

Disclosure: AARP Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …


Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …


Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …

Environment

The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021