Better Business Bureau warns consumers of social media scams

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) — The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of online scams that may try to take advantage of the holiday merriment. And the BBB said scammers aren't just on fishy websites. They're also on the social media sites that people visit every day.

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"You know, this is one we see every year," Julie Wheeler, with the Better Business Bureau, said. "This year, we saw the 'Secret Sister.' I think it was a wine exchange."

This online scam is like the old-fashioned chain letters or pyramid schemes.

"Where you're supposed to send something to the name that you have and then share it out to so many of your friends," Wheeler said. "Then they share it to their friends and then you're going to start receiving gifts. But the chances of it ever getting that far are not good."

Sometimes the scams are in it for your money. Other times it's for your private information – which can be used to all sorts of means.

"The other thing we see on social media are sites that will pop up on your social media feed," Wheeler said. "Sometimes they might be selling the hot toy that can't be found anywhere and it's giving you a link to a fraudulent website or a website that is selling sub-standard toys."

She added there's a lot being said about the safety of these knock-off items because they don't meet consumer safety requirements.

"So don't click on those links," Wheeler said. "That's all I can say to you. Do not click on those links. If it looks like it's a legitimate site, you go to your browser and type in that manufacturer or retail or whatever and make sure you do get on their actual site."

For more information about online scam warnings, click here.

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