PORTLAND, Ore. — The holidays are still a few weeks, but scammers are already gearing up.
It's during this festive time when people are in the giving spirit, and unfortunately, fraudsters are poised to take advantage.
KGW's senior investigative reporter, Kyle Iboshi, is keeping an eye out.
He says the two scams to be especially watchful for in the coming weeks are bogus charities and shipping or delivery scams.
"If someone contacts you, be hesitant. Be skeptical. Do your research. Go to the charity's website independently, or call them directly. And if you get an email about a delivery, don't click on the link before you check it out. It could lead to malware," he said.
Kyle has investigated dozens of scams over the years and given consumers a voice when companies won't listen or respond to their complaints. He's also tracked down would-be fraudsters to get answers.
On "Straight Talk," he explained what he sees as his mission as a consumer investigator.
"Ultimately, we want to hold people accountable. We want them to respond because often times we are the only voice consumers have," Iboshi said.
"They may file a complaint about somebody, but it may go nowhere. Or they post a review online and they say, 'Oh well, the company didn't respond'. So, they call me. If I see a pattern of complaints, the company is not being responsive or not providing the service promised, then it's really our role to speak for these consumers."
This week on "Straight Talk," Kyle Iboshi shares some of the most common consumer complaints he gets, including, the "grandparent scam" where a scammer poses as a relative. They pretend to be in some kind of trouble and need nana or papa to wire them money.
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"That's how these scammers operate. They prey on emotion, fear and urgency. It's heart wrenching to hear these stories, particularly since they can't get this money back, and for many of them, it is their nest egg."
Kyle provides these tips to share with aging parents or grandparents to avoid imposter scams.
•Don't use gift cards as payment.
•Don't wire money to strangers.
•If you don't recognize the number, don't answer the phone.
This week on "Straight Talk", Iboshi also shares information on how robocalls work, what you should do if you get a robocall, and what's being done to stop them.
If you think you've been scammed, you can call Kyle at our tip line 503-226-5041.
“Straight Talk” airs Saturday at 4:30pm.
It's also available now on podcast.