The Better Business Bureau is warning about these common holiday scams and frauds:
Malware e-cards: Viruses and malware often travel in email attachments or links. Don’t click on an email from someone you don’t know or a name you don’t recognize. When in doubt, delete!
Stranded grandkids: It’s the classic “grandparent scam.” If your grandchild, other relative or friend calls or emails to say they were robbed or hurt overseas, check before wiring money.
Counterfeit gifts: Low prices on luxury goods are almost always cheap counterfeits. At best, you’ll look like a Scrooge. At worst, you may be helping finance drug traffickers or terrorists.
Stolen gift cards: Buy gift cards only from reputable dealers, not online or from individuals. It’s easy for a scammer to sell you the card, then pull off the funds before you can even give the gift.
Fake coupons: Be cautious when downloading coupons. Always make sure you are at a retailer’s real website. Be especially careful with coupon sites that ask for personal information.
Santa scammers: What could be more jolly than a letter from Santa addressed directly to your child? Make sure the site is real and not gathering your data for identity theft purposes.
Fake charities: Charities count on end-of-the-year giving, so be generous if you can. But be careful, too, because scammers set up fake charities with similar sounding names.
Bogus websites: It’s easy to mimic a real website, with logos and everything. Red flags: http (not the more secure https), no contact information, asking for payment by wire or money card.
BBB director of communications