GHENT, WV (WVNS) — How can consumers be aware of holiday scammers?

Scammers are seen throughout the year, but come out the most around the holidays. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), in 2020, consumers lost about $712 billion to scams. And Millennials and Senior Citizens are the most common targets for fraud.

Kimberly Taylor, Director of External Communications for the BBB says how consumers can stay aware.

Taylor said the BBB Scam Tracker is a sure way of finding if a certain person or company is trying to scam consumers.

“You’re telling others, this is the company they used, this is the ruse that they used, they called me on the phone, they emailed me, this is what they said, this is what they did, this is how they got me, so you’re warning others,” Taylor said.

The BBB Scam Tracker can also alert local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission to any scams that come through the tracker.

Taylor said the holidays are a high time for emotions. She also said, don’t feel bad or guilty if you do get scammed.

“You don’t want to feel bad. You don’t want to be quiet about it, you want to tell others because we are all taken by scams and it’s okay. Scammers are very smart people. So, by being quiet about it, you’re not telling or warning other people and getting the education out there that you need to so you can help others,” Taylor said.

If you’re buying gift cards for the holidays here are some tips:

  • Make sure the outside packaging of the gift card isn’t damaged or tampered
  • Buy the gift cards that are sealed behind the cashier’s counter
  • If buying a gift card online, buy directly from the retailer

For more information about scams, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website.