The Better Business Bureau is reminding Londoners that during the season of giving you still want to be cautious about who you are giving to.
The BBB is out with its list of the ‘12 Scams of Christmas’, ranging from malware e-cards to fake charities and another scam that’s just recently popped up.
“One of the most recent ones this year and last year is the social media gift exchange,” Ashley Casselman with the Western Ontario BBB tells AM980.
“That’s where you are supposed to get 36 gifts and you just have to send 1 gift. It’s really just a variation of a pyramid scheme — you’re not going to get 36 gifts and the gift that you send, you’re out that money.”
Casselman also urges people to do their research when giving to charities and to be on the lookout for fake charities.
“You want to do your research before you give a donation to a charity. You want to make sure it is a registered charity, you can go onto our website, bbb.org, and see if they meet our standards,” she explains.
“A charity who isn’t willing to wait a day or two to do some research isn’t a charity you want to donate to.”
This is also a great time of year for seasonal jobs, but that’s another area where scams abound.
“Any time you have to pay for an application or a job kit, that’s a sign that it’s probably a scam. Things like work at home jobs, they tend to pop up a lot more this time of year as well.”
The BBB’s 12 Scams Of Christmas are as follows:
- Malware E-Cards – senders can attach viruses to e-cards
- Counterfeit Goods – luxury goods at low prices are often cheap counterfeits
- Look-a-like Website – scammers can build websites with familiar logos, be on the lookout for if the website is in http format rather than the secure https format and look for contact information
- Unusual Forms of Payment – be suspicious of anyone asking you to pay in ways that can’t be traced and undone, for example by using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, etc.
- Letters From Santa – many trusted companies offer personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information
- Fake Charities – scammers can easily set up fake charities with similar sounding names
- Fake Shipping Notifications – these can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer
- Grandparents Scam – scammers will call seniors pretending to be a grandchild who has been in an accident or arrested and asking for money
- Temporary Holiday Jobs – beware of solicitations requiring you to share personal information online or to pay for a job lead
- Free Gift Cards – pop-up ads or emails offering free gifts cards are often scams to get your personal information
- Social Media Gift Exchange – a variation on a pyramid scheme
- Puppy Scams – you could end up with an unhealthy puppy from a puppy mill or nothing at all if the dog never existed and it was all a scam
You can tune into ‘Ask BBB’ on AM980 every Saturday at 10:30 – 11 a.m.