7On your side: the 12 scams of Christmas - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7On your side: the 12 scams of Christmas

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

Here's a new twist on a holiday favorite: the twelve scams of Christmas.   

The Better Business Bureau's twelve scams of Christmas starts off with a warning on being careful about email attachments or links from someone you don't know: "When in doubt, delete it."

BBB President Carmen Million also reminds consumers that the holidays are prime time for the grandparent scam.

"A senior citizen will receive a call from somebody that says, 'Hey, Grandma, this is your grandson,' expecting the grandparent to say, 'Oh is this Johnny?' And allows the person to say, 'Yes this is Johnny, and I'm stranded in a foreign country and I need money quickly.' And they basically prey on senior citizens, because it gives them an option to help their grand kids," said Million.

The third scam of Christmas: beware of counterfeit gifts.

"You want to make sure you understand what you're purchasing, and of course, if you know you're buying a knock-off then that's entirely up to you. But you want to make sure that you understand you're only going to get what you pay for," said Million.

Number four, beware of pick pockets. Thieves are looking for opportunities this time of year.

The fifth scam of Christmas: make sure you buy gift cards from reputable stores, or you could be giving a gift of nothing.

The sixth scam of Christmas: fake coupons whose web sites are in some cases just seeking your personal information.

"You need to make sure the coupon is valid, and the best way to do that is go directly to the retailers web site so that you know it's a coupon that they actually offer and they're going to accept," advises Million.

Number seven, beware of Santa scammers on the web offering to write your child a letter from Santa.

"There are people out there that, if you go on their particular site, all they're trying to do is get your personal information," said Million.

Eight is fake charities with crooks trying to get your money.

Nine, bogus web sites. Million says try to verify authenticity and that security measures are in place.

"Call the number, make sure the company does exist.  Also look at their web address and make sure that it says http, make sure it has an S on the end of it. That says it's secure. The tenth scam of Christmas is online travel ripoffs. If it's a 'too good to be true' offer, you need to really think about it," said Million.

Number 11, beware of romance scams.

And twelfth, puppy scams. Don't let animal neglect or cruelty be profitable.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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