Officials offer tips to avoid holiday scams

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This holiday season officials are warning people to be on the lookout for scams.

John O'Hara with the Better Business Bureau said before you buy anything, do your research.

"It's good to save money and there's a lot of good deals out there, but make sure you're doing it with legitimate companies," O'Hara explained.

He said online scams are huge this time of year.

"Make sure that's it's a real website and not a fake website for someone to just steal your money," O'Hara added.

When donating to charities, O'Hara said be on the lookout for fake ones because con-artists will try to collect donations.

"If you want to give to a charity, the best thing the Better Business Bureau can suggest is that you find a charity that you like and then also look them up," O'Hara explained.

When purchasing gift cards, O'Hara said it's best to grab one from the middle of the rack, because thieves may have already used some of them.

"They grab some of the gift cards off the rack, they scratch off the I.D., they take a picture with their phone, and they also have the code number, they then put the card right back on the rack," O'Hara added.