Holiday details occupy top of mind for lots of people even as financial details demand attention. Unfortunately, at this time of year, scammers come out of the woodwork to prey on busy people. And there's one very important element that gets a lot of attention from scammers — not just during the holiday season, really, but all year round -- Social Security.

Older people may fall prey to Social Security scams that seek to separate them from their money or worse, their identity, whether out of naïveté, illness, dementia or believing plain old scare tactics -- and the holiday season is not exempt.

So now is an excellent time to review scammers' tactics. And to that end, here are 7 ways that a Social Security recipient, or their caregiver, can spot a scam a mile away—and report it to stop it in its tracks.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.