LOCAL NEWS

Scammers More Active During Holiday Season; Experts Warn Senior Citizens

Dec 2, 2020, 7:56 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — While the holidays have many in a “giving mood,” there are many looking to do a lot of taking. Scammers work year-round, but they really cash in around Christmas.

“These scams happen throughout the year, but we do see an increase around the holiday time,” said Paul Leggett, Salt Lake County’s director of Aging and Adults Services. “We need to talk about these things so other people can be educated and informed.”

Leggett said that information is good for everyone to follow, but he was specifically talking about senior citizens.

Maybe it’s because seniors are more trusting and want to give this time of year.

Scammers know that, though, and will tell you either you won something and they need information, or someone you love is in trouble.

“They know that when you are afraid or overly excited, your decision making is bad. And scammers are far more sophisticated than ever,” said Alan Ormsby, director of AARP Utah.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said her office has been seeing more scams involving gift cards.

The scammer will say some type of payment is due.

They might even say a family member needs money to bail out of jail and that payment can be made if you stay on the phone, go throughout town buying gift cards, and then read the numbers on the gift card to the scammer.

Sheriff Rivera said a Salt Lake County woman recently lost $9,000 this way.

It can be hard to find or even prosecute the scammers, especially when many of them are out of the country.

“We have to rely on the federal government to help us, such as the FBI,” said Sheriff Rivera. “But the FBI will only takes cases that are very large cases or large dollar amounts, so these smaller cases, we do work them, but trying to get prosecution on somebody that’s out of the country is extremely difficult.”

Sheriff Rivera said arrests have been made in past scams, but trying to solve them all is tough.

“It is difficult because local enforcement, we don’t have the resources to go outside of our jurisdiction,” she said.

There have also been scams involving Medicaid, Social Security, and even some that claim to be cures for COVID-19.

Officials with Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services said there are five things to never share with a caller:

  1. Your social security number
  2. Your credit card information
  3. Personal identifying information like your birth date or maiden name
  4. Your banking information
  5. Passwords
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The 2-mile, 20-hole disc golf course at Goblin Valley State Park was renovated recently and is now ...
Brooke Williams

Newly renovated disc golf course at Goblin Valley State Park is open

 The sandstone "hoodoo" formations designated in Goblin Valley State Park are part of a disc golf course, which was recently renovated and is now open, just in time for spooky season.
13 hours ago
The crowd gathering at Washington Square to march to the Utah Capitol....
Brittany Tait

Crowd marched to Utah State Capitol in solidary with Iran

A large crowd marched from Washington Square to the steps of the Utah State Capitol on Saturday to show solidarity for those suffering in Iran.
2 days ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center....
Michael Houck & Ladd Egan

Day One of 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tens of thousands gathered in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday for the 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 days ago
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteers help clean up and repair the aftermath of Hurricane Ia...
Mike Anderson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

"As horrible as natural disasters are, you see the best of humanity," Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members gather in Florida to help clean up the mess Hurricane Ian left behind.
2 days ago
Denali Stubbs, preparing his bike for the upcoming race....
Alex Cabrero

Hildale high school bike team participates in regional race

"I just want to do the same for these kids:” a Hillside parent hopes to encourage teens in his community to dream bigger by getting involved in sports.
2 days ago
Troopers were dispatched to a crash on southbound I-215 at about 1000 South. Witnesses stated a pic...
Michael Houck and Brooke Williams

UPDATED: Two dead after pickup truck crashes into ravine near I-215

Authorities are investigating a rollover crash that killed two of its occupants on I-215 near 1000 South Saturday afternoon. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Scammers More Active During Holiday Season; Experts Warn Senior Citizens