CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Consumer experts say to be alert this holiday season as scammers are trying to play “Grinch” by stealing your money and personal information.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) compiled a list of the 12 top scams this holiday season and warns consumers that scammers will get creative.

Chris Hadley, President/CEO of the BBB serving central South Carolina & Charleston, said many of the scams on the list stem from social media websites. He advises consumers to avoid shopping on Facebook, and do research before making any purchases.

“Anytime you’re being pressed or you’re making a quick decision without doing your homework that’s where you find yourself in trouble,” Hadley said. “The biggest thing these fall into are just make sure you are looking at reviews, you’re doing your homework, you’re checking these companies out and if you do that I would say you’re going to have a really high percentage of not being taken advantage of.”

The scams include:

  • Misleading social media ads
  • Social media gift exchanges
  • Pop-up virtual holiday events
  • Look-alike websites
  • Fake shipping notifications
  • Alerts about compromised accounts
  • Fake charities
  • Puppy scams
  • Holiday ‘hot toy’ scams
  • Free gift cards
  • Holiday apps
  • Temporary holiday jobs

Hadley also recommends using a credit card when buying items online and considering shopping in person at local businesses in the community.

If you do run into a scam this holiday season, report it to the Better Business Bureau or the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.