While the holiday season is known for giving to others, some people may be helping themselves, at your expense.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a list of 12 common ways scammers attempt to steal over the holiday season.
While a lot of people are expected to buy gifts online, the Program Manager of BBB, Marian Henry, cautions people to ensure sites they are using are legitimate.
“You may see websites that present itself as a brand name, but they ended up having extra words in them. Ensure you use a secure website if you put in financial information,” said Henry.
“Make sure at the top where the link is, it starts with ‘https’ with a little lock symbol or icon. Ensure the spelling of words like what brand you are wanting to buy match. Spelling errors are common red flags,” added Henry.
Are you actually expecting a package?
Another trick becoming more common is when a fake shipping notification is emailed to you telling you to claim your parcel.
“In a lot of cases, clicking on those emails can download malware and do other phishing techniques,” explained Henry.
“When in doubt, check with the shipping company. Give them a call and see if you can confirm that is actually a package for you as opposed to clicking on the link,” added Henry.
Henry noted you can hover over the link and see where it will take you and see if it matches a courier’s official site.
Relatives needing help
A scam often called the “Grandparent Scam” sees people act like a relative pretending to be arrested, in a collision, stuck traveling and need money.
“Often they are targeting grandparents who could be a little more susceptible to sending the money,” said Henry.
“It’s always a good idea to verify with someone to actually see if the person is in the situation they are in before sending the money.”
Henry warns chances are fraudsters have done homework before actually approaching you.
“They can look at your social media, know who you are, who your family is and where you and your loved ones are going.”
Pop-up stores and kiosks
The BBB is also cautioning people who will be getting gifts at pop-up stores and other kiosks.
“Research the company to know who you are dealing with. Check return policies. If they are not located there anymore after Christmas, where are you going to return it? Ensure they give you proper receipts. You want to have clear direction on what to do if the item needs to be returned,” said Henry.
More tips on how to avoid being caught in a scam can be found here.
WATCH: Avoiding scams this holiday season