Scammers target online shoppers this holiday season

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You've heard about the hottest gifts of the year, but what about the hottest scams? FOX8 spoke with the Better Business Bureau Serving Central NC to find out what scams are most popular this holiday season.

Kevin Hinterberger, president and CEO, said almost everything they're seeing targets online shoppers.

"They're getting sophisticated," Hinterberger said. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

One of the most common ways thieves are trying to steal your money is on social media -- selling items through Facebook posts like puppies or cars, then once you send the money to purchase the item, you never receive it.

"Once you do that the money's gone, the animal or product never delivered and unfortunately you've been taken," Hinterberger said.

Another way scammers are targeting shoppers is by creating websites for fake stores. The products look real, but they aren't and once you enter your banking information, your money is gone.

Hinterberger said easy ways to protect yourself include always using a credit card -- it gives you fraud protection a debit card can't. He added that you should always triple check the website you're buying from -- if it has grammatical errors, or doesn't include "https" it's a sure sign the site isn't secure. Also, never wire money to someone you don't know -- if you're being asked to do so, Hinterberger said it's almost always a scam.