Avoid These Common Holiday Scams

Tis the Season for Scams
December 05, 2017

Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest is warning consumers to look out for common scams that occur during this time of year. While consumers are walking off all the turkey from Thanksgiving, scammers are looking to pull a Grinch move and steal the holidays with fraud. 

Commons scams that occur during the holiday season include online purchase scams, look-alike websites, fake shipping notifications and gift card scams. Last year from October to the end of December, more than 500 US victims reported an online purchase scam to BBB Scam TrackerVictims reported more than 200 look-alike website scams, 300 phishing scams, and over 150 gift card scams. 

Here's what the 2016 holiday season looked like in your region:

  • Alaska victims reported losing more than $11,000 to 21 scams.
  • Idaho victims reported losing over $21,000 to 100 scams.
  • Montana victims reported losing nearly $2,000 to 13 scams.
  • Oregon victims reported losing nearly $34,000 to 75 scams.
  • Washington victims reported losing nearly $48,000 to 137 scams.

Consumers are urged to be on guard for scams concerning look-alike websites, "free" gift cards, fake shipping notifications and online purchase scams.

Recently, there has been an uptick in reports to Scam Tracker for online purchase scams, many of which are coming from ads featured on Instagram. These ads lure consumers in with pretty pictures, good deals, and convincing websites. However, reports show buyers are handing over their money without ever receiving the product. Research online companies by checking them out on bbb.org.

Learn more about these scams at bbb.org/scamtips.


ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.