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Avoiding holiday scams

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In this season of giving and shopping, the Better Business Bureau wants you to be extra wary of scams when you are shopping in a store or online.

Claire Rosenzweig, the president and CEO of the Metro New York Better Business Bureau, says this time of year (and any time of year) you should protect yourself and protect your computer. Be careful when opening holiday greeting from an e-card. Don't click on an email from a name you don't recognize; e-cards can carry viruses.

Scammers tend to rely on emotions during the holiday season: everybody is feeling really good, trusting, and eager to spend money. Scammers just love that.

Here's one that only happens this time of year: the so-called Santa scammer. It's a letter addressed directly to your child online that instead could be a scheme run by a thief trying to get your personal information.

Before you donate to charity be sure to verify your money is going to the right place. A popular trick is to set up fake charities with similar name to the real thing. Look for the "https" in the URL. The "s" means the site is secure.

Thinking of taking off for that holiday getaway? Before you pack a bag ask for references before booking online.

And if you gift list includes a puppy for under the tree the better business bureau says pick your pet in person, don't buy the animal online.

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