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Holiday Scams: Tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid getting scammed this holiday season

Scammers often try to take advantage of the holiday season when many people are shopping more than they usually do. Here’s what to be wary of.

CALIFORNIA, USA — The holiday shopping season is underway and many people are still getting gifts.

This also means scammers are working hard to get your money, especially through text messages sent to your cell phone. The Better Business Bureau shares several tips to avoid being scammed this holiday.

For those trying to support small businesses by buying from them online, you'll want to make sure it's a valid one. Celia Surridge with the Better Business Bureau recommends verifying the business before you buy.

"If they're not an accredited business, other ways to look is to see if they have a physical location [or] if they have reviews that have been left on google that's more than just a month old. If they only have recent reviews, that's a little suspicious," Surridge said.

She said it's young people between the ages of 18-25 that are getting scammed the most.

“The average monetary loss for that age group is about $116 on average. It's because they are really susceptible to clicking on text messages, Tik Tok or grab a sell really quickly without actually thinking who they're purchasing from or if the information they're looking at is correct," Surridge said.

Tips to avoid scams

  • Don't send money through gift cards or wire transfers to someone you haven't met in-person
  • Don't click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages
  • Don't share personally identifiable information 
  • Find more tips HERE

Sometimes you'll get a text that sounds like it could be legitimate.

“What happens is you'll get something that triggers a fear response like 'payment overdue' or 'your package wasn't delivered, click here to have it delivered at a different location' and you are immediately responding," Surridge said.

If you are unsure if a message is part of a scam, the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker allows people to look up scams. People can also report a scam online if they receive a suspicious message. 

Whether you're shopping at a big box store or a local business online, scammers are out to trick you. Surridge said the vendor you bought your product from will have the most up-to-date tracking information.

Next time you get a suspicious message, don't panic and click. Instead, report it so you can warn others HERE.


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