Protecting Your Holidays: How to Avoid Scams This Season

Eagle Wealth Management |

With the holiday season in full swing, scammers are looking for opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. By staying cautious, verifying sources, and being aware of the tactics used by scammers, you can protect yourself from falling victim to holiday scams.

Remember, a moment's skepticism can save you from a season of regret. Here are some tips:

1.    Verify Sources: Whether it's an email, text message, or phone call, always verify the sender or caller. Legitimate companies won't ask for sensitive information unsolicited. Look for official communication channels and contact information on their website rather than clicking on links sent to you.

2.    Watch for Red Flags: Scammers often create urgency or pressure to act immediately. Be cautious of messages that claim a limited-time offer or threaten dire consequences for not complying. Grammar mistakes, unusual email addresses, or generic greetings can also signal a potential scam.

3.    Beware of Smishing:  Smishing, a fusion of "SMS" (aka Short Message Service, commonly known as texting) and "phishing," involves fraudulent text messages designed to trick you into divulging sensitive information or clicking malicious links.
These messages may appear to be from banks, delivery services, or retailers, urging you to click on links or provide sensitive details. Avoid clicking on links or sharing personal information via text unless you've initiated the conversation and are sure of the recipient's authenticity.

4.    Double-Check URLs: Before making online purchases, ensure the website's URL is secure and legitimate. Look for "https://" at the beginning of the web address and a padlock symbol in the address bar. Also, be wary of slight variations in domain names that may appear similar to legitimate sites.

5.    Use Trusted Payment Methods: Stick to secure payment methods and avoid transferring money to unknown accounts or sharing credit card details over the phone or email. 

6.    Be Wary of Deals: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of heavily discounted items, especially from unfamiliar websites or sellers. Counterfeit products flood the market during the holidays.

7.    Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your devices and applications to patch security vulnerabilities that scammers might exploit.

8.    Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts. Taking a moment to question the legitimacy of an offer or request can save you from falling victim to a scam.

Remember, the key to keeping yourself safe from scams this holiday season is to stay cautious and well-informed.  Follow these tips and keep vigilant!

Best regards,

Your Eagle Wealth Team



Holiday Decorating Party

Last Friday our Eagle Wealth team decked the halls, enjoyed some eggnog and hot cocoa, and decorated a tree Chad and Cami’s family cut down in the forest. 

We hope you’re all enjoying the season as much as we are!



The Week on Wall Street


A late-week, two-day rally left stocks higher, adding to November’s gains as the last month of trading for 2023 began.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat (+0.01%), while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.21%. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.69% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, was up 0.37%.1,2,3


Stocks Extend Gains


The relationship between the bond and stock markets–which pushed stocks higher in November (i.e., falling bond yields, rising stock prices)–disappeared last week, with stocks falling in the first three days of the week despite declining yields. Yields dropped following a weak job openings report, the ADP employment update, and a substantial productivity revision.

On Thursday, investor enthusiasm returned with force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) related news. One AI chip manufacturer announced a new AI chip, followed by a mega-cap tech company unveiling an enhanced version of its AI model for business use. Stocks continued their climb on Friday despite rising yields, as investors viewed a stronger-than-expected employment report as increasing the potential for a soft landing.

Productivity Surges


Higher productivity may be the most effective and preferred way to reduce inflation. Last week’s revised third-quarter productivity report saw an upward revision of the annualized productivity growth from the initial report of 4.7% to 5.2%; this was welcome news on the inflation front and an encouraging development for future corporate profits.4

The 5.2% jump in productivity represented the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2020. The report also showed unit labor costs falling at a 1.2% annualized pace, reflecting a cooling of wage-growth inflationary pressures. Productivity has increased for two straight quarters, potentially allowing the Fed to ease its restrictive monetary policy.5




Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance

1. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2023

2. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2023

3. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2023

4. MarketWatch, December 6, 2023

5. MarketWatch, December 6, 2023

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.  Copyright 2023 FMG Suite.