‘Tis the season of scammers. This doesn’t just happen during the holidays but it sure seems like it. There are so many scams out there it’s difficult to keep track.

There’s a general rule, which Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus eloquently points out: “I can’t say this strongly enough: Any online request for untraceable, nonrefundable gift cards is a scam. That’s particularly true if you’re unsure of the person or organization making the request.”

RELATED: This New Travel Scam is Costing People Hundreds of Dollars

David’s story, titled “Amid holiday scam warnings, a holiday scammer contacts me” is worth a read as he provides some valuable info. Most of it is common sense but our elders are particularly vulnerable since they’re not as tech savvy and much more trusting, though anyone can fall victim to scammers.

David writes: “It advised consumers to steer clear of unfamiliar websites promising big discounts on brand-name goods. It also called any request for gift cards “a major red flag for fraud.”

If you’re curious how these scammers are able to create a $20 billion industry (that’s right, that’s a B not an M), I also highly recommend you take the 23 minutes to watch YouTube sensation Mark Rober. Mark has over 20 million subscribers to his channel and over 50 million on his video titled Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer (who gets arrested).

Mark shows you step-by-step how scammers prey on the elderly in a very clever way.

YouTube video

Scammers are getting savvier and savvier thanks to being able to tweak technology, for example mirroring actual phone numbers of loved ones and official businesses, when in fact they’re really not. They’re so good, they almost got my wife. Here’s that story.

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