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San Diego Authorities Warn The Public About Scams This Holiday Season

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan speaks outside a conference...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS News

Above: San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan speaks outside a conference room at the Better Business Bureau, Dec. 3, 2018.

Most people have experienced a scam phone call before. A random number calls, claiming your credit card bill is overdue or your auto insurance is expired and unless you act now — you are in trouble.

"A lot of the scams will play on the urgency of your response — we need you to respond now to pay your debt now," said Christopher Hoffner with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division Los Angeles field office. "No one will ever call you with such great urgency that you can’t hang up and call them back ten minutes later."

RELATED: Consumer Advocates Expect A Big Holiday Season For Cyber Scams

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said people might notice an increase in scams online and over the phone this time of year.

"The holiday season is really high volume for theft and scams," Stephan said. "Because people are busy and the scammers know that. People are distracted — they’re running around shopping. If people get emails from someone or a company that they’re not aware of, just don’t open it."

Stephan said the elderly and immigrants are more vulnerable to scams. If you think you have been a victim of a scam or identity theft, the DA’s office has setup a website with more information at catchteam.org.

The IRS, FBI, Better Business Bureau and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office are teaming up to warn consumers about scams this holiday season.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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