COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — They made a list, checked it twice, and found out who’s been naughty in 2022. Here are some of the Better Business Bureau’s 12 Scams of Christmas.
1. Misleading social media ads: As you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, you may see certain products advertised. But Melissa Rogner with the BBB of Central Ohio said to always do your homework before you buy.
“Just because they’re receiving an ad in their social space, it’s not a trustworthy link until they’ve vetted the source themself,” Rogner said.
2. Social media gift exchanges: It may involve giving bottles of wine or purchasing $10 gifts. In any version, participants are sharing their personal information, or buying and shipping gifts or money to unknown receivers. But to put it simply, the BBB said it’s an illegal pyramid scheme.
3. Holiday apps: There are dozens of apps where children can video chat with Santa or track his sleigh on Christmas Eve, but make sure you review privacy policies to see what information will be collected. Also, free apps could contain malware, so be careful.
4: Alerts about compromised accounts: Consumers told the BBB that they received emails, calls, or texts that appear to come from Amazon, Netflix or PayPal reporting suspicious activity.
“Like, there’s a fraudulent charge on your account, and if you don’t respond, you’re going to be responsible for that charge,” said Judy Dollison, president of the BBB of Central Ohio. Dollison also said to be extra cautious with those unsolicited messages, even if it’s a well-known company.
5. Free gift cards: The BBB said scammers have been known to send phishing emails requesting personal information in exchange for free gift cards. If you get one of these messages, don’t click the link.
6. Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers typically hire holiday workers to help meet the demands of holiday shoppers. It’s a great way to make some extra money but watch for fake listings. Some opportunities may be too good to be true.
You can see the full list of the BBB’s 12 Scams of Christmas here, including the best ways to protect yourself.