12 popular scams this holiday season: BBB

12 popular scams this holiday season: BBB

As Christmas Day approaches, many consumers are still doing their holiday shopping. But beware of scammers and fraudsters who try to scam you out of your cash or steal your personal information.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​has shared a list of common scams you may encounter this holiday season.

Before buying, BBB president Simone Lis suggests consumers do a little research on the company they’re buying from and even ask a friend.

“Talk to someone you trust about your purchases. Is that really good or too good to be true? Don’t let a Grinch steal your holiday spirit or your hard-earned cash,” Lis said in a press release.

Here are 12 common holiday scams you should avoid.

1. Misleading social media ads

One reason to always research a company before buying is because it’s common for people to pay for items they never receive, get charged monthly after a free trial they never signed up for, or receive an item that’s fake or very different from what was advertised. for misleading advertisements.

2. Gift exchanges on social networks

Be careful about participating in social media giveaways. They could be used as a way for a fraudster to obtain personal information or trick people into buying and sending gifts or money to unknown people.

3. Holiday applications

If you or your children have downloaded a holiday mobile or tablet app where you can video chat with Santa, light a menorah, or track Santa’s sleigh movements, it’s a good idea to review the privacy policy to see what information may be collected. . Beware of subscription fees.

4. Alerts on compromised accounts

You may receive an email, call, or text indicating that there has been suspicious activity on one of your accounts. Be careful, as it may be a scam to gain access to these accounts or gain private information.

5. Gift cards

Lately, fraudsters have been using duplicate barcode stickers for other types of gift cards and placing them over the desired barcode. recently published details of this particular scam. So check the barcode when purchasing gift cards.

6. Temporary vacation jobs

Another popular holiday scam is posting temporary job offers, as retailers often hire seasonal workers to work on busier days before the holiday, such as Boxing Day. Beware of fake emails and websites online, experts advise. According to the BBB, 65 percent of reported job scams involved having “warehouse redistribution coordinator” or similar titles.

7. Similar websites

Be wary of emails that contain links to deals, sales and deals during the holiday season. Don’t click on links in messages you didn’t expect to receive. The BBB warns that these links will send you to websites that look like legitimate websites, and then trick you into downloading malware, making purchases, or sharing private information.

8. False charities

Fraudsters sometimes use fraudulent charities to trick donors. Donors are advised to watch out for scammers pretending to be people in need. Always ask charity representatives for credentials to prove they are with the organization they claim to represent.

9. False delivery notices

If you’re buying something online, make sure the site isn’t fake and be wary of shipping notifications. An increase in online shopping means an increase in emails about shipping information and tracking. Fraudsters are increasingly using these push notifications to hide phishing emails, along with links that may allow unwanted access to your private information. Fraudsters can also use fake delivery notices to trick people into paying fake fees or other fees.

10. Pop-up holiday events

Before shopping at a seasonal store, make sure the business isn’t a scam by asking if it will be open after the holidays and if it will accept returns after the season ends. If not, you may want to purchase the product elsewhere or do more research first.

11. Hot Toy Scams

If you see items at unusually low prices, don’t buy them right away. Instead, do your research first and make sure the store you’re buying from is reputable. It might be a scam. In one case reported to BBB, a Canadian man lost $640 – he sent the money to an unknown seller to buy a Playstation 5. Once the seller had the money, they disappeared and the phone number was disconnected, and the man never got the Playstation or his money. back

12. Puppy scams

Before buying a pet, make sure you see the pet in person. People pay thousands of dollars every year to scammers who buy pets online. According to the BBB, the number of cases is declining, but the average financial loss due to pet scams has increased by 60 percent since 2017. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) recorded 247 reports of pet scams in 2022 – a loss. About $217,453.

Reporting of this story was paid for by the Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.

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