BBB warns of holiday scams

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) Cyber Monday is over, but experts with the Coastal Better Business Bureau warn there's an increased threat for scams throughout the holiday season.

More people are shopping online and that means more opportunity for cyber crimes. Kathy Graham, president and CEO of the BBB, says she gets calls every day from people falling victim to scams either through e-mail or online shopping.

Graham says its important to know what to look for when doing business online. Any trusted website should be secure and the web address should begin with "https." Another sign of a trusted site is the BBB logo with an embedded link to the company's review on the organization's website.

Consumers should be wary of any unsolicited deals, e-mails or pop-ups asking for information or linking to a website.

"If you're getting this in your email or texted over your phone I would definitely stay away from that because people are trying to compromise you. Once that stuff gets stolen it gets sold," said Graham.

As the holiday season kicks into full swing, Graham says she's hearing more about "Dear Santa" websites, specifically targeting children. These sites coax children to write letters to Santa while phishing for information.

"They think they're writing a letter to Santa and they want a letter back they might give too much information. You have to be careful where your kids are going," Graham said.

To check out a website or company, click on the link to the BBB's website in the associated links section.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.