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How to avoid some of the biggest holiday scams

Tis the season for giving – and for thieves to try to take advantage of you. The Better Business Bureau runs down some of the biggest holiday scams to watch out for.

MINNEAPOLIS — Most of us will be hunting in store or online for the best deals this holiday.   But there are Grinches out there trying to scam us.  The Better Business Bureau says don’t fall for it.

Toy Scams

Parents trying to get your hands on that hot toy but find it is sold out everywhere are the target of Toy Scams.  Miraculously, that sold out item appears on some random website.  The BBB says these are often scams.  You’ll send you rmoney but no toy every arrives. 

They already have dozens of reports this season of this happening to moms and dads looking for Funko Pop Figurines.

The BBB warns only buy toys from reputable stores and websites.  Don’t fall for extra low prices.  When in doubt, make sure the company has a working customer service number. 

Social Media Scams

You’ve probably seen those social media gift exchanges like Secret Sister as you scroll through your Facebook feed.   How it works is that you share your name, address and some personal info along with some friends.  You send an inexpensive gift to a stranger and supposedly you’ll get up to 36 presents in return.   The BBB says it’s a pyramid scheme which is illegal.   You’ll likely find yourself disappointed when the gifts don’t arrive.  Plus, it’s another way for scammers to get your private information and steal your identity.

Deliver Scams

Beware of Delivery Scams.  These are especially common around the holidays.   Look out for phishing emails that look like official notices from delivery companies.  They’ll contain a tracking link or a notice that there’s a problem with your delivery and then takes you to a form where you are asked to share some personal information.   The BBB says don’t give it to them, it’s a hoax.

Phony Online Ads.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.   The BBB says scammers will bombard you with free or heavily discounted products through social media ads.   The most common bogus items are watches, jewelry and brand name clothing.   If the price is way lower than anywhere else, that’s a red flag.  Also be sure you know who you are sending money to.

Stay safe and Happy shopping!

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