BBB Releases List of Holiday Scams


The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a list of popular scams that commonly appear in the U.S. and Canada during holidays. Some of the most common scams listed by the BBB include fake charities, look-alike websites, and even fake calls from grandchildren.

A few of the most popular:

Look-alike websites: When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.

E-cards: Electronic cards can be great fun, but be careful. Two red flags to watch out for are: the sender’s name is not apparent; you are required to share additional information to get the card.

Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.

Grandparents scam: Seniors should be cautious if they get a call from a grandchild claiming to be in an accident, arrested or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true.

Phony charities: Everyone is in a generous mood at the holidays, so scammers take advantage of that with fake charity solicitations in email, on social media sites, and even by text. Check out charities at give.org before donating.

In order to combat these scams, the BBB has created a Scam Tracker that allows civilians and police officers to track, report, and combat common holiday scams. Tyler Andrew, president and CEO of a sector of BBB, elaborates on this new tool.

“It’s a valuable tool for consumers and fraud fighters,” said Tyler Andrew, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Scam Tracker exposes fraud in real time and uses technology to alert consumers of fraud before it’s too late.”

Scam Tracker reports are sent to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) for analysis and collaboration with law enforcement to help prosecute scammers in the U.S. and overseas.

These reports will also be used for BBB alerts and serve as the basis for local investigations, news releases, warnings and trends analysis.

To learn more about holiday scams, or to report one, visit the BBB Scam Stopper.

Photo by  Gray Lensman QX! via Flickr CC License


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