The holiday season should be a time to celebrate, indulge, let loose and find yourself in a giving mood more than any time of the year. And yet some prey on us for one sole purpose. To cheat us out of something.

Hopefully, you will not be a victim of a Grinch stealing your Christmas this year. In a recent release by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), this is the favorite time of year for scammers.

It drives me crazy when I see reports of someone being scammed out of thousands of dollars just because of a phone call or clickbait.

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The BBB says social media ads are the biggest culprits.

What should you do? Well, staying off social media isn't going to solve anything, but don't let yourself become vulnerable.

According to the BBB, exercise caution when coming across social media ads about discounted items, event promotions, job opportunities, and donation requests, as well as direct messages from strangers. If you are asked to make a payment or donation by wire or e-transfer, through third parties, by prepaid debit or gift cards, treat this as a red flag.

Other red flags include gift exchange, holiday apps, the word FREE, pop up's and fake charities.

Do your research. Ask the necessary questions before you click. Make a call to the local Better Business Bureau.

One piece of advice if you want to make this Christmas season more enjoyable when gifting and stick it to the scammers, buy local. Walk into a store here in Sioux Falls to do your shopping where you're more likely to recognize someone.

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