BBB names 12 scams of Christmas

The Better Business Bureau has released its annual 12 scams of Christmas list.

The twelve scams are as follows:

1. Look alike websites - Scammers may create websites that incorporate the names of legitimate websites. Check the URL to make sure it is correct. Misspellings and grammatical errors are also another sign a site may not be legit.

2. Fake shipping notifications - Scammers will send out an email with a link to what appears to be shipping information for a package. Don’t click on the link, it could download malware to your computer. Instead, contact the company directly if you are expecting a package.

3. Ecards - If you receive an e-card from someone you don't know, or if you have to include personal information in order to view the card, it may be a scam.

4. Letters from Santa - Scammers may use Santa to get personal information from you. Check with to find out which companies that provide letters from Santa are legit.

5. Grandparents scam - Someone posing as a grandchild calls and asks for money to be wired for an emergency situation, like an arrest, accident, hospitalization, etc. Before sending money, contact the family member directly to find out if they are really in trouble. You should only wire money if you can confirm it is your family member.

6. Phony charities - Scammers may take advantage of your generosity during the holidays. Check out any charity before giving at or

7. Temporary holiday jobs - Beware of offers that require  you to give personal information online or pay for a job lead.

8. Unusual forms of payment - Beware if someone asks you to pay for a purchase using a prepaid card, gift card, wire transfer, etc. Make sure the website you are using has https in the URL and has the lock symbol.

9. Free gift cards - Popup ads or emails offering free gift cards are often not legitimate. It may be a way for someone to get your personal information.

10. Social media gift exchange - The ploy is to give one gift and get 36 in return, but is just a variation of the pyramid scheme.

11. Puppy scams - Be careful buying pets online. Dogs from puppy mills can often have health problems. It can also be a scam and you may be out the cost of the dog and end up without a dog.

12. Fake coupons - Get coupons from manufacturer websites or store websites. Be cautious if the coupon site asks for personal information.

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