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Attorney General Ford Highlights Holiday, ID Theft Scams to Watch Out for from This Year’s Naughty List

Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warns consumers to stay vigilant during the holiday season and during Identity Theft Protection Awareness month this December.

“Nevada consumers should be on alert for various holiday scams, so they don’t end up losing holiday cheer as the year winds to a close,” said AG Ford. “During the holidays, scammers take advantage as people are feeling more festive and generous to use more schemes to steal consumers’ identities and money.”

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection advises Nevadans to protect their money and identities this holiday season by being on the lookout for the following scams:

Holiday-Themed Apps: While many holiday-themed apps are legitimate and can be a fun way to send your wish list to Santa, parents should review all apps for what information is being collected before allowing kids to download them. Check the privacy policies for each of the apps before downloading. Set strong permissions so that kids cannot make in-app purchases. Be aware that free apps often have more ads, and the ads may not be suitable for all age groups. Other apps may actually be malware designed to steal your personal information. Read through reviews prior to downloading.

Fake shipping notifications: With the influx of shipping during the holiday season, distracted purchasers may not notice a fake delivery notification. Scammers may send out texts or emails containing what looks to be a tracking link but may be a fake website to obtain your personal information. Rather than click on the link, go to the delivery carrier’s or the retailer’s site directly to track your package by entering the tracking number from your invoice. Keep track of what you have purchased with tracking numbers so that you can check on your own periodically.

Made-up Holiday Events: The holidays bring a plethora of in-person and virtual holiday events, and, with those are made-up events designed to steal credit card information or money. Scammers may create fake event pages and social media posts with links to purchase tickets for an activity that will never happen. For one-time events that require you to pay in advance, do your research to find out if an event is real before purchasing a ticket. If you decide to make that purchase, consider using a credit card, which offers greater protections in the event you have to dispute the charge later.

Holiday Temp Work Scams: Temporary holiday positions offer a great chance to earn money to buy gifts for everyone on your list, but some nefarious people may use the opportunity to create a scheme to steal money and personal information from job applicants. Be wary of jobs that don’t require an interview or are offered only online; this may be an attempt to steal your personal information. Additionally, employers should not ask for payment ahead of time, such as for job supplies, applications or training fees. Look out for jobs that ask you to complete complex projects before making you an employment offer. These are red flags that the offer of employment may not be what it seems.

Sham charities:  As the year winds to a close and people are feeling festive, donations to charities increase over the holidays. Unscrupulous individuals may take advantage of this non-Scrooge-like behavior by creating sham charities. While some of these charities may solely be an attempt to separate you from your hard-earned cash, others may only be contributing a small portion of your donation to the cause they are purporting to support. As always, do your homework on charities before donating using tools such as Charity Navigator, GuideStar or a simple internet search. Be wary of high-pressure donation tactics, as legitimate charities will accept a donation at any time.

If you believe you have been a victim of a holiday scam, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Nevada Attorney General. You can also file a police report with local law enforcement. Include as much information as possible with your complaint.