'Tis the season for holiday scams

‘Tis the season for fun, for family, and unfortunately, for scams.

"[My mom] asked me immediately, you know, ‘are you ok? I heard what happened earlier,’" recalled Ben Dickey.

The thing is, nothing had happened earlier. Instead, Dickey said his parents were the targets of a scam. He told FOX 5 someone had called them saying Dickey had caused an accident, was hurt, was in trouble, and only a large sum of money could help.

"They demanded $10,000 cash," Dickey said. "They were seconds away from handing this money to a stranger."

The Dickey family is far from alone.

"Scams are very, very prevalent during this time," explained Derrick Parks, the president and CEO of Metropolitan Protective Services.

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Parks offered several tips to make sure you don’t become a victim this holiday season.

First, he noted that government officials will never call and demand money over the phone. 

He also recommended that people check their credit card statements every day this time of year to make sure there aren’t any fraudulent charges. 

And Parks also said that if you’ve got gifts or other valuables in the car, put them in the trunk, so thieves can’t see what’s there for the taking.

"Crime exists on three basic principles – motive, means, and opportunity – and the more we can eliminate one or all, the less likely you’ll be a victim of crime," Parks told FOX 5.

There’s plenty of helpful information posted online as well. For instance, the Better Business Bureau published a list of the top 12 Christmas scams, including misleading social media adds, alerts about compromised accounts, and fake shipping notifications.