Proos: Protect yourself from holiday scams

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is reminding Southwest Michigan families to be mindful of holiday scams and to take steps to protect their valuable personal information.

“The holiday season is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends. Unfortunately, it is also the season for scammers and cyber criminals,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The digital, online marketplace has increased convenience for consumers while also making it easier for scam artists to take your money or steal your identity.

“A simple rule to follow to avoid falling for most scams is to never give out your credit card number, bank account information or Social Security number over the phone or in an email.”

Online shoppers should keep browser and security software up-to-date, make sure to use only legitimate and secure websites and be wary of clicking on links on social media or in emails.

“‘Tis the season for spamming emails designed to entice you to click on links that download malware on to your computer, which will then steal your identity and your passwords,” Proos said. “A popular scam is a fake shipping notification. So, if you know you didn’t order anything, don’t click the link. Identity theft wreaks havoc on millions of lives every year. With the help of a few tips and a little common sense, residents can help ensure that this Christmas is full of joy instead of headaches.”

For more information, the attorney general’s office offers “Consumer Alerts” on its website at Consumer alerts are located under the “Consumer Protection” tab and feature advice on numerous consumer issues, including identity theft and popular scams.

Residents may report a suspected scam to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-765-8388 or clicking on “File a Complaint” on the attorney general’s website.

The Better Business Bureau also offers information on scams or a link to report one at BBB Scam Stopper.


Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.