Getting scammed would make for a bah humbug holiday season, that’s why the Better Business Bureau is sharing the “12 Scams of Christmas” list — detailing the top scams that thieves are using on unsuspecting people this holiday season. Watch out! A good number of them involve social media.
Steve McFarland, President and CEO of BBB Los Angeles & Silicon Valley, said the number one scam is misleading social media ads that are for online goods and services.
“What you’re seeing on the digital ads is for free trials [or goods] and the goods don't arrive on a lot of these, or they’re late,” McFarland said.
“And in some cases you’re charged a monthly fee for unwanted goods or services — and if something even does arrive, it's counterfeit.”
McFarland said the best thing you can do to avoid the scam, is not buy into it, be aware of the fact that a realistic ad on Facebook or Instagram could easily be something to tempt you into giving away your credit card information and go to the retailer’s actual site instead.
In some ways, the pandemic and shipping crisis are part of what’s caused the problem.
“[These scammer] are tempting you with low prices and lots of inventory,” McFarland said. “They’re playing on the shipping crisis and lots of delays and the supply chain even more now.”
What else is on the BBB’s naughty list? Take a look at their 12 scams of Christmas:
1. Misleading social media ads
2. Social media gift exchanges
3. Holiday apps
4. Alerts about compromised accounts
5. Free gift cards
6. Temporary holiday jobs
7. Look-alike websites
8. Fake charities
9. Fake shipping notifications
10. Pop up holiday virtual events
11. Top holiday wishlist items
12. Puppy scams
To read a description of each scam click here for the BBB’s list (not a scam, promise!).