Sec. of State Warns of Christmas Scams

                                                                                                                             Mass Secretary of State William Galvin

BOSTON – Secretary of State William Galvin is cautioning the public during the holiday season that scammers preying on generous spirits during the Christmas season often pose as legitimate charitable endeavors.

His office is warning that scams that look like legitimate investments are often pyramid or Ponzi schemes. The schemes pay early investors, which inspires confidence in people who invest later, the later investors often lose everything.

Galvin’s Securities Division is also telling consumers to be aware of scams involving elder financial fraud, abuse and exploitation, officials say this type of fraud is also common this time of the year.

Also, thieves target victims who are traveling and pose as a family victim in need of financial assistance, targeting elderly people with the scammers posing as grandchildren.

Another common scheme is to target victims posing as government officials demanding payments for taxes or other fees in the form of gift cards. The Secretary of State’s Office is reminding the public to remain particularly vigilant this time of year.

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