BBB 12 Scams of Christmas
Posted on December 10, 2016
The holiday season is all about spending time with loved ones and celebrating the Spirit of Christmas. Unfortunately, this is when scammers prey on people’s holiday spirit, busy schedules, and generosity the most.
Malware E Cards: E-Cards are a fun way to send holiday greetings, but be careful as senders like to attach viruses along with them. Don’t click on emails from someone you don’t know or a name you don’t recognize. When in doubt, delete it out.
Counterfeit Goods: Luxury goods at low prices are almost always cheap counterfeits. Handbags, jewelry, watches, wallets, and electronic devices are among the top of the list of items counterfeited. Always buy from reputable sellers, and check the web for signs of counterfeit goods.
Look-a-like Websites: It’s easy to recreate a website with a familiar logo, so beware when you’re shopping online. Some red flags are the webpage is in http format, not the secure https, no contact information, and even asking for payment by wire or money card. If you’re not sure which site to trust, go to bbb.org and read online reviews first.
Unusual Forms of Payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments can’t be traced and undone. Use a credit card on a secure website (https-the extra s is for secure), and the lock symbol.
Letters From Santa: What better than a letter from Santa to light up your child’s face? Many trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Always check the website’s privacy policies before entering any information to know how it will be used, if you don’t see a policy then leave that website. Keep your computer secure by using firewalls, anti-spyware and antivirus software.
Fake Charities: The holiday season is the time for giving and there are many charities out there needing help. Be sure your generosity is indeed going to the right places. Scammers can easily set up fake charities with similar sounding names, and they also solicit via email, social media, and by text. Always research the charity with BBB Wise Giving Alliance at give.org beforehand to see if that charity meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.
Grandparents Scam: Senior citizens should be very cautious if they get a call from a grandchild claiming to be in an accident, hospitalized, or arrested when traveling in another country. Never send any money unless you have confirmed with other family members this is true.
Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.
Free gift cards: Pop-up ads or email offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information that can later be used for identity theft.
Social Media Gift Exchange: It sounds like a great deal; buy one gift and get 36 in return. But it’s just a variation on a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal.
Puppy Scams: Be very careful when buying pets online, especially during the holidays. You can end up with an unhealthy puppy from a puppy mill, or nothing at all because that dog never existed and it was all a scam. Always research where you are buying the dog from and never wire any money. Be sure to pick up the puppy in person instead of paying someone to ship it.
Story from Better Business Bureau Article Here