a “naughty list” Released by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​earlier this month are 12 common strategies scammers have been known to use to trick spenders during the holiday shopping season.

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The BBB advised shoppers to be cautious following a rise in online scams since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the BBB’s report on scams for 2020, an estimated 38.3 percent of all scams reported last year were made using online shopping, making these types of scams “the riskiest for shoppers aged 18 to 54″. ” Was.

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“Consumers should keep an eye out for any fraudulent schemes aimed at swiping their cash and stealing personal information,” the BBB warned. The non-profit organization noted that the 12 types of scams included in its “naughty list” were the “Top 12 Scams of Christmas”, adding that it “is most likely to catch consumers and donors off guard during this season”. “

First on the BBB’s list are the “misleading” ads that pop up on social media. These ads may be for a charity or small business, some of which have been told by the BBB to never deliver the advertised items. The BBB advises shoppers to look at businesses that claim to be behind ads before making purchases online.

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Social media gift exchanges are second on the BBB’s list. Some of these gift exchanges encourage buyers to “pay it forward” by making purchases or sending money to unknown recipients. “There’s also a twist about ‘Secret Santa Dog,’ where you buy a $10 gift for your ‘secret dog,'” the BBB said, adding that these types of scams really are. “An Illegal Pyramid Scheme.”

The BBB’s list went on to warn consumers about sharing personal information on holiday-themed apps, beware of false alerts claiming personal accounts have been hacked, accepting “free” gift cards. Organizations are doing, and are falling for, scams related to temporary vacation jobs or false donations. Fake websites, fake shipping information and fake pet ads can also serve as scams during the holidays, as can virtual craft markets or items that seem to be for sale at prices that seem too good to be true.

“Low or ridiculously priced luxury goods, jewelry, designer clothing and electronics are almost always cheap imitations and knockoffs,” the BBB said, adding that “Baby Yoda” items and game consoles are in high-demand for the 2021 shopping season. are among the items. , “Be very cautious when considering purchasing these high-value items from individuals through social sites.”

A second set of recommendations that the BBB issued before Cyber ​​Monday advised shoppers to make sure their computer’s antivirus software has its most recent update installed and to use their credit card when shopping online so that Later any suspicious activity can be countered. The BBB also encouraged shoppers to investigate businesses they are not familiar with via the store’s business profile on the BBB website, where shoppers can also report suspicious scams and conduct searches to find out. that scams have already been reported in their area.

newsweek Contacted the BBB for comment.