Scam Chinese consulate

The 12 Scams Of Christmas: BBB Warns Of Holiday Scams

December 21, 2018 - 9:06 am

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Better Busines Bureau is warning consumers about holiday scammers looking to take away their holiday cheer.

The BBB released this month their list of "The 12 Scams of Christmas" along with how to identify and avoid them.

The list includes:

  • Look-Alike Websites
  • Social Media Gift Exchange
  • Grandparent Scams
  • Temporary Holiday Jobs
  • Free Gift Cards
  • E-Cards
  • Fake Shipping Notifications
  • Phony Charities
  • Letters From Santa
  • Unusual Forms of Payment
  • Travel Scams
  • Puppy Scams

Around the holidays, many consumers will see an incease in the number of email announcing sales. The BBB warns of look-alike websites meant to trick consumers into entering private information or giving scammers the opportunity to download malware onto a computer. To avoid this scam, remember to review the sender's email address, look for misspellings, and only enter information on websites that begin with "https"

Another email scam is phishing emails. Around the holidays, scammers will use the fondness of "free" to reel in consumers with phishing emails and pop-up ads by offering "free" gift cards. To avoid getting scammed into this one, the BBB warns consumers not to click on links, share any information to receive the free gift card, and to clear all browsing history and turn on ad blocker.

Outside of email scams, another major scam to be cautious of around the holidays is phony charities. Scammers take advantage of consumers being in the giving spirit and pose as charities or needy individuals. The BBB suggests consumers to look for sound-alike names and to verify charities on give.org. 

If you fall victim to any of these scams or just notice the signs, the BBB recommends you submit a report to the BBB Scam Tracker, file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, and keep an close eye on your financial statements. 

For more information on all scams, visit the BBB's 12 Scams of Christmas: What to Look For and How to Avoid Them page.