This article was originally posted by the FTC. See the original article here.
Kwanzaa, which is based on traditional African harvest festivals, is celebrated every year from December 26 to January 1. The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja (unity) and the importance of finding ways to stay united and working together. Pulling together to protect loved ones — against scammers, for example — is especially important this time of year.
Just as we may be — at last — traveling to spend time together, scammers are scheming to convince you there’s a family emergency. Scammers pretend to be your loved one (or a friend, police officer, lawyer, or doctor) and try to scare you into sending money to (supposedly) help them. These scams often target older people and say it’s urgent and only you can help. The scam can play out in different ways but the bottom line is the same: the caller lies, tries to scare you, and rushes you to pay so you don’t have time to think twice or check things out before you send money.