'Tis the season for lots of shopping, also trying to save money and find a deal whenever possible. These scams seem to prey on people trying to find a great deal, make some extra money, or just putting personal information out on something that isn't secure.

These scams are from the Better Business Bureau. The most common platforms for these scams are through email and social media outlets.

Misleading Social Media Ads

I can't stand these things.  Usually, when I see something that seems like an awesome deal on some social media ad with a company I've never heard of and it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  So, it's a good idea to check reviews and see if the company is legit- is it even in the US?  Many times it's from overseas and who knows when you will even get your product, if ever.  But they will be more than happy to take your money.

Beware of Holiday Apps

There are some seemingly cool apps for kids to talk with Santa, light the menorah, or something similar.  Do a little research on the app, sometimes they contain malware or something worse.  What information will be collected when signing up to use the app?

Alerts about a supposed compromised account

I keep getting notices that my Paypal account has been hacked.  I don't have one.  But if they send out enough of these types of notices/alerts, they will find someone who has an account and then all of their information will be collected, identity theft.

Beware of FREE gift cards

Anytime you receive something that says FREE it's tempting.  Generally these come in the form of an email or text.  Don't open or respond to them.  99% chance it's a scam.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Temporary Holiday Jobs

If you know the store, it's probably fine.  But sometimes these offers are too good to be true.  Just be careful of the online application process.  Sometimes these are scams and are just after your personal information.  If you see a sign in a store that they are hiring with a link to apply, those are legitimate.

Look-Alike Websites

I keep getting an email from "Amazon" saying that something super expensive has been ordered and they need me to verify my account before they can send it.  Amazon is spelled with two A's. Easy to just go by it and not notice.  Be overly vigilant in that situation.  You know you didn't order anything.  And anytime you do, they send an email immediately showing your purchase.  Plus, you can just go into your account and check it.  Just don't use the "link provided" on the fake account.

Fake Charities

This one shows up every year.  Donate to charities that you know of and have a personal attachment to. Advice from the BBB:

Verify a charity at BBB's give.org or on the Canada Revenue Agency website. Where possible, donate to the charity through their website and use a credit card.

Fake shipping notifications

You know what you've ordered online, and what the shipping date will be.  Just watch for these, some can contain malware.  BBB has some tips on what to watch for.

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Keep a watch for free events that suddenly are charging a fee.  That is probably a scam.  If they do charge a fee make sure to use a credit card, that way if it is a scam you can generally recoup those charges, and personal information is not collected as it would be with a normal bank card.

Cheap Holiday Wish List Items

If you see something online that is normally fairly expensive and is suddenly an extremely low price- beware.  Many times these are fake or knock-offs.  If you are purchasing one of these items make sure it's not through individual social media outlets.

Pet Scam

This one is horrible.  Many people will want to get their family a new furry friend for a Christmas gift.  Beware of finding these online.  Always find and pay for the pet in person.  Don't put a deposit down online, unless you know the person.

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