This holiday season, many people will forego the shopping malls and outlets stores to pick out gifts from their favorite online sites in the convenience of their home. 

However, this time of year, some extra attention should be paid to protect yourself and loved ones from becoming a victim of a scam or fraud.

Locally, the Savannah Police Department (SPD) estimates a billion dollars is lost each year through all fraud issues.

Sergeant Jeremy Henry, Supervisor of the SPD Financial Crimes Unit said, “When people encounter anything that doesn’t feel right… the best thing to do is hang up. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.”

Sgt. Henry added, “If it’s not a utility, credit card, or something you’re familiar with or expecting…you are under no obligation to engage. Hang up [the phone]”

Chatham County Police Department Neighborhood Liaison Officer Esquina White, agreed. 

“When these calls come in, we encourage folks to use the proper selection on your phone to block/report/silence the phone.”

“For some,” officer White continued, “disconnecting is easier said than done, particularly senior citizens and/or older family members who may not understand they’re being scammed and are more trustworthy.”

Patti Lyons, president of Senior Citizens, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Savannah and coastal Georgia stated, “The FBI estimates that older adults lose more than $3 billion each year to scammers….

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