The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of possible scams this holiday season.
MICHIGAN, USA — With the holiday season in full swing, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers of possible scams designed to steal personal information and credit card numbers.
The BBB shared tips on how to avoid twelve of the most common scams this holiday season.
Misleading social media ads: Don’t immediately trust an ad you see on social media. Do your own research about the company before purchasing something through an advertisement.
Social media gift exchanges: This scam pops up every year and involves a virtual gift exchange framed as “Secret Santa” or something similar. Don’t give away personal information to gift exchanges and don’t participate unless you know all of the individuals involved.
Holiday apps: Free holiday apps for Thanksgiving and Christmas might be collecting your personal information. Be wary when downloading these apps around the holidays.
Alerts about compromised accounts: With a huge increase in shopping this time of year, scammers are looking to trick you into sharing personal banking information under the guise that one of your accounts has been compromised. Always contact your financial institution directly if you are concerned about a financial transaction.
Free gift cards: Around the holidays, scammers love using “free” gift cards as an incentive for people to give out personal information. Watch out for emails, text messages, pop-ups and ads asking you to claim your free gift card.
Temporary holiday jobs: Getting a temporary job for the holidays can be a great way to make extra money but watch out for scam applications. Only fill out applications directly on a company’s website if possible to avoid a possible scam to steal personal information.
Look-alike websites: Be wary of emails or text messages that send you to a shopping website. Make sure that the website is legitimate before entering in any personal information or making any purchases.
Fake charities: Donors are being advised to look out for fraudulent charities this time of year. Avoid donating to a charity you haven’t heard of or one that was marketed to you in an email or message. You can verify a charity before you give to it at BBB’s Give.org.
Fake shipping notifications: As shopping ramps up for the holidays, scammers use fake shipping notifications to trick consumers. If you receive a message about a shipment that you are unsure about, contact the shipping company directly and avoid clicking on any links that are sent to you via email or message unless you solicited for it directly.
Pop-up holiday virtual events: Scammers will use online holiday markets and craft fairs as an opportunity to steal consumers’ credit card and personal information. Confirm with the organizer of the event if there is an admission fee and if the invitation to the event is real.
Top holiday wishlist items: With Black Friday just around the corner, watch out for extremely discounted luxury goods for sale online. Things like jewelry, designer clothing, and electronics that are priced ridiculously low are almost always cheap counterfeits and knockoffs. Avoid purchasing high-value items from social media sites and unknown websites.
Puppy scams: Pet scams are on the rise this year according to the BBB. Always be sure to see the pet in person before making a purchase.
Learn more about each of the scams here.
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