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BBB: Beware of Holiday Scams

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(Memphis) Scammers are known to pull out all of their best tricks during the holiday season. Crooks prey on the generosity of people enjoying the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, Tracie Barnett and her sister Tiffany were excited about the good that comes with the holiday season, “I love shopping for the family, I love being with family, I love the dinners, it's just everything."

However, the Better Business Bureau says beware of the bad that comes during the holidays too.

Scammers use news headlines and current events to prey on people.

“It’s just sad,” said Barnett. “There are so many people going through things and for people to come in and scam, it’s just sad.”

BBB President Randy Hutchinson added, “[Scammers] will adapt schemes that they run all year-long, but give it a holiday theme to get people to let down your guard.”

He says watch out for phishing scams where crooks try to get information from you so they can steal your identity.

One in particular is a text message saying you've won a gift card to somewhere like Wal-Mart or Target.

“Of course this is the time of year people are more attuned to getting gift cards and so more people will fall for it than they would the rest of the year,” he said.

Hutchinson says the end of the year is when charities see a huge jump in donations.

He says scammers will take advantage of that too.

Before giving, he says check out the charity or retailer and always go with your gut.

“I think the most important thing is and we say it all the time, step back, look at it, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.