BR Better Business Bureau warns about Christmas scams

The Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau is warning the public to be on the lookout for Christmas scams.
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 9:20 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau is warning the public to be on the lookout for Christmas scams.

Experts with the group released the below top 12 scams of Christmas:

  • Misleading social media ads: As you scroll through your social media feed, you often see products advertised. Always research before you buy.
  • Social media gift exchanges: Each holiday season, this scheme pops back up, and this year is no different.
  • Holiday apps: Apple’s App Store and Google Play list dozens of holiday-themed apps where children can video chat live with Santa, light the menorah, watch Santa feed live reindeer, track his sleigh on Christmas Eve, or relay their holiday wish lists. Review privacy policies to see what information will be collected.
  • Alerts about compromised accounts: BBB has been receiving reports about a con claiming your Amazon, Paypal, Netflix or bank account has been compromised.
  • Free gift cards: Nothing brings good cheer like the word “FREE.” Scammers have been known to take advantage of this weakness by sending bulk phishing emails requesting personal information to receive free gift cards.
  • Temporary holiday jobs: Job seekers need to be wary of employment scams aimed at stealing money and personal information from job applicants. Keep an eye out for opportunities that seem too good to be true.
  • Look-alike websites: Be wary of emails with links enclosed. Some may lead to look-alike websites created by scammers to trick people into downloading malware, making dead-end purchases, and sharing private information.
  • Fake charities: Donors are advised to look out for fraudulent charities and scammers pretending to be individuals in need.
  • Face shipping notifications: More consumers are making purchases online, and there is also an increase in the number of notifications about shipping details from retailers and carriers. Scammers are using this new surge to send phishing emails with links enclosed that may allow unwanted access to your private information or download malware onto your device.
  • Pop-up holiday virtual events: Many local in-person events such as pop-up holiday markets or craft fairs have moved online. Scammers are creating fake event pages, social media posts, and emails to charge admission for what used to be a free event.
  • Top holiday wishlist items: Low-priced luxury goods, jewelry, designer clothing, and electronics are almost always cheap counterfeits and knockoffs. The same applies to popular toys.
  • Puppy scams: Many families may be considering adding a furry friend to their household this year. However, be on the lookout for scams.

The Better Bussiness said the public can avoid becoming a victim by taking a few simple precautions.

Experts said people should be cautious about social media ads that promote discounted items, holiday events, job opportunities, donation requests, and direct messages from strangers.

According to the Better Business Bureau, being asked to make a payment or donation by wire transfer, through a third party, or by a prepaid debit or gift card should also be a red flag for people.

To read more about the latest Better Business Bureau scams and tips, click here.

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