WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Christmas shopping used to only require a credit card and a trip to the mall.
In a post-Amazon and Facebook world, the deals come to you online…but so do the scammers.
The Better Business Bureau keeps track of the ways consumers and well-intentioned donors are stolen from with the ’12 Scams of Christmas.’
And this year, those looking to deceive others have more opportunities than ever.
There’s so many more options. You can get them over phone call, email, social media, everything. It’s so easy to be scammed at this point.Abigail Komar, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist, BBB
From social media ads, to fake charities, to even puppy scams, the anonymous nature of online transactions leave the door open for swindlers.
They can offer you free gift cards through fake phishing emails.
They can make websites that look similar to those of trusted retailers.
And it isn’t just about not getting something you paid for.
The BBB says they received a complaint where someone was sent a ‘personalized’ mug with placeholder text.
You order online, you pay the money, and then something just never comes. Or what comes is a very, very different version of something similar to what it was.Abigail Komar, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist, BBB
But there are ways to make it hard for anyone to mess with your money.
You can consider freezing your credit, which will stop thieves from borrowing anything.
You can also make your password something they’ll never figure out on their own.
We know that’s really hard to do, because a lot of people do the same thing of their first child’s name and a number, but it’s really unsafe to do that, people can really access all your information when all your passwords are the same.Abigail Komar, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist, BBB
So keep a close eye on those bank statements…and make sure all your money is going under the tree rather than in a scammer’s pockets.