Be As Generous As You Can And Be A Little Extra Cautious
We love to help others by giving to charities, especially this time of year and especially since so many charitable organizations have been hit hard due to the pandemic. But, we have to be a little extra cautious these days since scam artists are more and more sophisticated and prevalent during the holiday season and leading up to tax time.
The IRS and its Security Summit partners have issued warnings to be particularly attentive this year. In fact they advise that you do not click on any e-mail or text message solicitations even if they appear to be from your charity of choice. Instead they suggest that you go to your charity of choice and do your giving through their specific website. Or, even better, go old school and mail them a check!
There’s no need for fear, just exercise a little caution. Awareness is key and is all that’s necessary to keep you off of the scammer’s holiday victim list and keep your spirits bright. Another tip I found particularly informative is to use a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases. Here’s their reasoning: Credit card companies provide protection against fraudulent transactions. Most card issuers will quickly shut down the account and replace your card while they investigate a bogus transaction. And the lag time between when the transaction posts and when you get your statement provides some time to address any issues that may arise. If you use a debit card, fraudsters can have your account(s) cleaned out before you have a chance to report the fraudulent transaction(s) and lock the account down.
If you’d like to look into the governments’ list of consumer scam alerts, visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
Stay safe, be alert and have a wonderful holiday season!