|Published:||Dec 21, 2012 5:35 PM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 21, 2012 6:16 PM EST|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's the season for giving. And for scam artists, the season for taking. Their most frequent target is the elderly.
"Scammers are often using the holidays as a backdrop to solicit people," said Lori Groen, a US Postal Inspector. "They think people are a little more trusting during that time and a little more giving."
So, as you visit parents and grandparents this Holiday season, here are a few things to be on the lookout for.
"First, look for solicitations of sweepstakes, things that say they have won fabulous prizes. Also, look for foreign lotteries, all foreign lotteries through the mail are illegal, Groen said."
Another warning from postal inspectors, beware of offerings of so-called valuable items like watches, gloves and jewelry.
"This was something that was described as some fabulous jewelry that someone would have one in a sweepstakes. In reality, it's nothing but costume jewelry."
Also keep in mind that many scam artists will be dialing for dollars during the holidays. Never give out your personal information over the phone and don't donate money unless you know exactly who you're dealing with.