The last thing you want for the holidays is to buy someone you love \nan an expensive gift that never ships. Or worse, have to buy a new \ncomputer because yours has been infected with malware!BBB \nServing Central and South Alabama has a list of common holiday social \nmedia scams to keep you, your computer and your wallet safe this season:1 Shady retail advertisements.\n We are all tempted by the cute outfits and accessories for low prices advertised in the margins and on the timelines of our \nfavorite social media sites. These too-good-to-be-true deals and \nhigh-resolution images could lead us to believe the products are better \nquality than they actually are and could cause us to purchase items that\n may not arrive in time for the holidays or may never arrive at all! \nAlways research websites on bbb.org and other websites to confirm their legitimacy before making \npurchases.2. Gift exchange.\n You might get a message from a friend inviting you to participate in a \nholiday gift exchange. All you have to do is buy one gift and \nyou’ll get 36 in return! This is a pyramid scheme that only works if you\n are able to recruit six people that are each able to recruit six more \npeople to send you gifts. Pyramid schemes like this are illegal and \nparticipants could be subject to penalties for mail fraud. Avoid \nclicking links in these emails because they can compromise your personal\n information and put your computer at risk for viruses or malware.3. Buy and sell pages.\n There are reports of sellers that will lure you in with good deals on \nresale apps like Facebook Marketplace, and then claim to use a \nthird-party company like Amazon or eBay to sell and ship items. They \nwill convince you that you must first wire money or send payments using \npre-paid debit cards before they can send you your item, tricking you \nout of your money and never sending you what you paid for. You should \nnever pay for an item before you see it in person.4. Free ______! Whether it’s a scam message offering free gift cards or an ad offering free samples of something, do not enter your information. We regularly receive Scam Tracker\n reports from people who think they are signing up for a free trial (all\n they have to do is pay shipping and handling), but then their cards are\n charged several times over for a product they thought would be free.5. Phony charities.\n Scammers are able to capitalize on the generosity of others during the \nholidays. Crowdfunding and fake charities have grown in popularity over \nthe years, and you may be solicited in a message or on your social media\n feed to donate to different causes. Be sure to always research \ncharities on give.org and to only donate to people you know and trust before opening your heart and wallet this season.