In an effort to protect consumers as they get ready for the holidays, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) posted a list of 12 scams to watch out for. The BBB, known for helping customers find credible businesses, brands, and charities, was founded in 1912 as a small nonprofit focused on advancing marketplace trust.
While the article said that most scams are sent through email, it added that customers should “exercise caution when coming across social media ads about discounted items, event promotions, job opportunities, and donation requests, as well as direct messages from strangers.”
The non-profit also said to treat any website or third party that asks for payment or donations by wire, e-transfers, or prepaid debit/gift cards as a red flag.
Some of the scams that were listed are:
- Misleading Social Media Ads— Many customers have reported making a purchase through a small business, and then have either not received anything or have received something extremely different from what they ordered. The BBB advises researching the company before making any purchases.
- Social Media Gift Exchange— The BBB explained this scam as an online Secret Santa. Where individuals are asked to buy something small like a bottle of wine or a $10 gift online, some even let you submit an email in order to pick a stranger’s name for the Secret Santa. This form of scam is considered an illegal pyramid scheme.
- Holliday Apps— The article warned parents of Holiday Apps that are offered on their phones. It said that for parents whose children want to video chat with Santa, light a menorah, or track Santa’s sleigh, to carefully review the terms and regulations and be wary of platforms that ask for personal information.
- Temporary Holiday Jobs— Especially considering that there are currently millions of jobs that need to be filled, the BBB warned those who are looking for extra holiday hours to be aware of positions that are too good to be true. It said that some “employment scams [are] aimed at stealing money and personal information from job applicants.”
- Fake Shipping Notifications— The article warned that due to increased online shopping, scammers have started sending individuals fake shipping notifications. The scammers send links that when opened, can unknowingly allow unwanted access to your private information, download malware onto your device, or trick individuals into paying new shipping fees.
The BBB reported over 1,400 scams in the Nashville area over the past six years.
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