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For holiday scammers, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Shopping cart with Christmas ornaments and Sale text
Creative Commons
Shopping cart with Christmas ornaments and Sale text

Holiday shoppers will spend billions of dollars this season, and as usual fraudsters will follow the money. During last year’s holiday season, an AARP survey revealed that more than 75% of U.S. consumers reported that they experienced some type of fraud. Cyber shoppers are the most vulnerable.

In this report, KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper talks with AARP fraud expert, Amy Nofziger about holiday shopping scams and what consumers can do to avoid them. The list of scams includes fraudulent social media ads, fake package delivery notices, gift card schemes, bogus deals on hard-to-find items and imposter texts and websites.

The fraudsters may be international or home-grown. The victims can be anyone, although seniors are often targeted.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a holiday shopping scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch helpline at 877-908-3360.

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.