BBB Creates ‘Naughty List’ of Top 12 Vacation Scams to Watch Out for – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio


As the holidays are in full swing, the Better Business Bureau is warning people to be aware of possible shopping scams.

The BBB has created a “naughty list” of the “12 best Christmas scams”, in an effort to prevent people from falling victim to the holiday season.

Here are the vacation scams the BBB says consumers should be aware of:

1. Misleading social media ads: Posts on social media might appear to be from small businesses, claim to be donating to charity, or even bill monthly for a free trial that you never signed up for. Make sure to research a company before ordering from them.

2. Exchanging gifts on social networks: A new version of this scam centers around exchanging bottles of wine or submitting your email to a list for a “Secret Santa Claus” style exchange. But these scams give people access to information about you, your friends, and family, and often trick people into buying gifts for strangers for nothing in return.

3. Holiday Apps: Beware of downloading new vacation apps. Always read the privacy information about the information that will be collected and be careful of free apps which not only may contain more advertising, but may also contain malware.

4. Alerts on compromised accounts: The BBB has received reports on emails, calls and texts that your Amazon, PayPal, Netflix, or bank account has been compromised. Always call your account provider before giving any information.

5. Free Gift Cards: Scammers will use words like “free” while impersonating legitimate businesses. Often times, these scams appear in pop-up advertisements or text messages.

6. Temporary vacation jobs: Many stores hire seasonal workers to meet holiday shopping demands. While jobs are a great way to make money, job seekers should beware of job scams. Keep an eye out for any opportunity that seems too good to be true, asks for payment up front, or tries to get you to work before you hire.

7. Similar websites: When you receive an email with a link, make sure you are going to a legitimate website. Some can lead to similar websites that are designed to look like the real thing, but are created to get your personal information and infect your device with malware.

8. Fake charities: According to the BBB, 40% of all charitable donations are received in the last few weeks of the year. Donors are advised to look for fraudulent charities or scammers claiming to be in need. Whenever possible, donate to charity through a website and using a credit card.

9. Fake shipping notifications: As more and more people shop online, scammers take advantage by sending bogus shipping details. Crooks can try to charge you new shipping fees or infect your device with malware by clicking on links.

ten. Ephemeral holiday virtual events: Scammers create fake event pages, social media posts, and emails charging for admission for what would normally be free events. The goal is to steal credit card information. Call the event organizer to check if there is an admission fee.

11. Top Holiday Wish List Items: Very cheap items, designer goods and electronics are often cheap knockoffs and knockoffs. Always be careful when purchasing items from individuals through social sites.

12. Puppy Scams: Never buy a pet without seeing it in person, and if you are buying online, do a reverse image search of the animal to make sure it is a real photo.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been scammed or spotted a scam can report it to BBB ScamTracker.

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