12/14/2019 Marian Liu

Marian Liu

With the holiday season approaching quickly, many shoppers will be hitting the online and physical marketplaces to get the best deals. Due to this active time of year, opportunities to be scammed are always looming.

Delivery emails are specifically what to look out for, said Marian Liu, professor of nursing, in a Purdue News press release. The convenience of online shopping can also be an opportunity for scammers to get payment information.

“Scammers can send emails on issues regarding payment of shipping,” Liu said in the release. “When we are busy with the holiday activities, we may not pay attention and accidentally click on a phishing link.”

Charity scams also increase around holiday times, Liu said. The best way to avoid these scams is to only donate to familiar charities.

“The scary part is that once you make a donation, you make it to the scammer’s ‘sucker list.’ They will come back for more money, often under the guise of a different charity,” Liu said. “Older adults with cognitive impairment fall for this type of scam frequently because they do not remember making a previous donation.”

Liu advises only making online purchases from private, at-home Wi-Fi on personal computers, as opposed to public ones.

“Err on the side of caution," she said.

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