Tis the season to be jolly…and, for some, take advantage of vulnerable populations. Unfortunately, the holiday season is ripe for scammers and many people do not recognize that they have been targeted by a nefarious group of people set on destroying lives and the joy that this time of year conjures in so many. Champion Home Health Care has the honor of providing professional home health care services to seniors in Melbourne, FL and beyond. We recognize that caregivers and their families often need assistance whether it be light housework and medication management to full-time round-the-clock care. This is why our Brevard County company for senior living is so unique. We have the ability to create fully customized care plans for you or the senior in your life.

We work with your established medical team to come up with an assisted living system that works best for everyone. Communication is key and we cannot thank you enough for trusting us with this endeavor. We love our elderly population and know that, sadly, this is the time of year when many seniors fall victim to criminals whilst doing their holiday shopping. However, when you know what to look out for you can become an advocate for the safety of yourself or the senior in your life. Here are some scams that have become prevalent as of late and ways to keep safe.

The National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend upwards of $1,000.00 this year on all things holiday. From food and decorations to gifts and more, this is an increase of over 4% from just last year. It is estimated that 55% of us will utilize online shopping as well.

Digital retail is a great way to accomplish your shopping needs without ever changing out of your pajamas. However, it is also a space in which scammers have set up shop. Here is how the scam works. Criminals create fake retail websites for products that you want. You visit the site. It looks legit, right? You come to the purchase page and enter your credit card information. And it is over. You never receive the item you ordered, but your bank information is now in the hands of a scammer. To ensure that the web address you are visiting is safe, look for these signs:

An S at the end of HTTPS

Every web address, the URL, begins with HTTP. You want to look for an “S” because it shows that the website is encrypted. It’s a safety measure that prevents your information from making it into the hands of another person.

Security Seals

Legitimate shopping sites should be partnered with a security firm that protects the consumers’ data. Look for a seal that says verified or secure to let you know.

Contact Information

Real deal websites should have a contact form. If not, stay away.

Gift cards are highly sought after this time of year and for good reason. It is an easy way to show someone you care without purchasing a gift that either won’t get used or be tossed aside. However, scammers know this and look for ways to prey on unsuspecting consumers. First and foremost, inspect the PIN on the card before you purchase it. If the number is exposed or it looks as though someone has tampered with the card, do not buy it. Scammers will uncover the PIN number on gift cards and then wait for them to be activated by a consumer. They then use the card for themselves. Also, buy gift cards from a verified source and not through third-party or auction websites.

When you know what the risks are, you can better protect yourself. Online shopping and gift cards are both great ways to get it all done this season, just pay attention and make sure you are shopping from reputable sources.