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Keep your money safe from scammers this holiday season

Don't release any bank information, personal information, or Social Security Number to anyone.

MAINE, Maine — Editor's note: The video above aired Nov. 30, 2021.

It may be Christmas Day, but that doesn't mean scammers are taking a break.
Police departments are warning of many scams taking aim at Mainers, especially this holiday season.

Bangor Police Officer Elizabeth Ashe said scammers are targeting everyone, no matter the age. She reminded people to be extra careful when shopping online. Many look-alike websites offer discounts, but they're really just scams.

If a person on the other side of the phone, computer, or mobile device asks you to pay them in gift cards, beware, Ashe said.

Also, don't release any bank information, personal information, or Social Security Number to anyone.

"Phone scams remain very very popular, people calling for example from a tech support company, or people calling and saying a family member is in grave trouble and needs money to be sent via Walmart gift card," Ashe said. "Some other popular ones are you've been involved in a crime and there's a warrant for your arrest ... hang up the phone instantly, and if you have questions about warrants, that's our specialty. We can help you with that or clarify any questions you may have."

Fake charity scams are also hot right now. Before making a donation, research and call the charity to make sure you are donating to the right place and for the right effort.

If you do fall victim to a scam, change all passwords and contact your local bank to put a hold on your cards.

Ashe said to always ask for a call back number, and if they don't want to give one, that's another red flag.

"These people are not dumb, they are constantly changing their tactics, so if something feels off, it probably is," she said.

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