“12 scams of Christmas”: What to watch out for this holiday season

With the Christmas season approaching, the Better Business Bureau wants to warn consumers about 12 common holiday scams.
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 10:40 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With the Christmas season approaching, the Better Business Bureau wants to warn consumers about 12 common holiday scams.

1. Misleading social media ads

The BBB says they receive daily reports of people who never receive the items they pay for online. Always look into the profiles and accounts you are purchasing from.

2. Social media gift exchanges

Social media “Secret Santas” and other similar gift exchanges often ask people to give contact information and send money to people they do not know. The BBB suggest only buying gifts for people you know from businesses you trust to avoid being part of an illegal pyramid scheme.

3. Holiday apps

Apps for children to talk to Santa, track his location, light the menorah or send holiday gift lists can be info grabbers. Make sure to review privacy policies to understand what apps are getting. Also check reviews for apps in case of malware.

4. Fake texts

Texts urging immediate action for a hacked Amazon, Paypal, Netflix or bank account should not be trusted. Do not click any suspicious links or follow any directions in one of these texts.

5. Free gift cards

The BBB warns about phishing emails requesting personal information in exchange for free gift cards. Be wary of any suspicious emails requesting information, and mark them as spam or junk.

6. Temporary holiday jobs

Retailers may hire seasonal workers to help with increased business around the holidays, but not all of these offers are reputable. Keep an eye out for jobs that seem too good to be true.

7. Lookalike websites

Emails with links enclosed should never be opened unless they are from someone you know. Links may lead to lookalike websites that steal login information or make users buy nonexistent products, the BBB explained.

8. Fake charities

Charities often ramp up efforts during the holiday season when people are in the most need. Only donate to charities and people you trust. Charities can be verified on the BBB website.

9. Fake shipping notifications

Phishing emails may claim issues with an ordered package containing links aiming to steal login or other information. Always verify an email before following links.

10. Advent calendars

Recent scams involve social media ads for advent calendars that never arrive or arrive in poor condition. Verify sellers before purchasing from social media ads, and buy from sellers you trust.

11. Top holiday wishlist items

Knockoff products are common around Christmas time. Fake toys and other gifts can be found on social media and untrustworthy websites. Make sure to be cautious when buying gifts on Facebook Marketplace and other resale platforms.

12. Puppy scams

When considering buying a pet as a gift, there are many things to consider, including taking care of the pet. One other thing to watch out for when it comes to social media listings for pets are fake posts. The BBB suggests meeting the pet in person before making any purchases.

The BBB says the best way to stay safe is to stay cautious. For more information, visit bbb.org.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.