Tis’ the season for shopping, needing money and giving money, and scammers know it!

Each year with more of our lives going on, online, it’s becoming easier for scammers to get rich off our holiday spirit.

The Better Business Bureau recently reminded us of 10 scams to watch out for this holiday shopping season:

Look-alike websites: scammers are good, you think you’re clicking on Amazon but instead you’re really clicking on amazonn or ebay but it’s really ebae.  So make sure you use the legitimate websites; type it in yourself and double check.

Shopping Online, be cautious:  Kind of the same as the first hint, but scammers have been more active with online shopping scams as it’s getting harder to scam the actual card, with the invention of the chip card readers.  When shopping online, and you’re about to put in your credit card info (don’t use your debit card, use an actual credit card) make sure the address is “https” the “B” means secure.

Don’t be fooled with Fake Shipping Notifications:  If you are surprised by a notification email you get about something getting shipped to you, don’t click on the attachment.  You should take the tracking number on the email and go to the actual retailer or shipping site and check your shipment there.  The attachment on the email is usually used for phishing.

Weird forms of payment:  if someone wants you to pay for something online using a prepaid debit cards, gift cards or wire transfers.  They want you to use this form of payment because they can’t be tracked, so once they scam you, they just disappear.  Also, FREE GIFT CARDS don’t exist.  It’s just a way to get personal info that can be used for identity theft.

Holiday E-Cards:  Sure Jib-Jab cards are cool.  But if your ecard requires any more info from you to “get” your card, or if you have to download it, avoid it.  Also if the sender’s name is not apparent, it’s probably a scam.

Travel Emergency Scam:  This one happens more often to older people who are easily confused, but a family member or friend calls claiming to be in trouble, in an accident or sick while travelling.   Don’t send out ANY money until you’ve checked with other family to see if it’s real

Temporary holiday Jobs:  If you have to pay for a holiday “job” lead… it’s probably a scam. Also don’t share personal info unless you actually go to that company’s website (not through an email or ad link)

Fake charities:  We all want to give and be generous near the holiday, and scammers know it! They take advantage through social media, emails and sometimes even text messages. If you want to give, check out the legitimacy of the charity by going to give.org first.

Santa’s Letters sent to your kids:  Sure there’s plenty of legitimate businesses that do Santa Letters… but there’s also a good number of scammers who are getting vital info while you fill out the form.  Want to know if the Santa Letter site you’re on is legit?  Go to bbb.org, they tell you the ones to trust.

Gift exchanges on Facebook or other social media:  It’s a pyramid scheme and almost everywhere...it’s illegal!  You won’t get 36 bottles of wine or gifts.

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