ABC 6 Investigates Top Scams of the Holidays

Created: 12/23/2013 6:33 PM KAALtv.com
By: Ellery McCardle

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- This is the time of year when more of us donate to charities and shop online for gifts.

But that also makes us a target for scammers.

ABC 6 Investigates asked the Better Business Bureau what the top three scams are right now in Southeast Minnesota.

Number one.

Fake Overstock.com websites. 

Overstock.com is a well-known online retailer. Scammers take advantage of that name by creating false sites like topoverstockdeals.com or bestoverstockdeals.com." Stay away from those sites.

In the past year the Better Business Bureau shut down more than 100 fake websites that illegally steal Overstock.com's logo.

Number two.

Right now many of us are giving to charities. Beware of scammers calling or emailing you claiming to be with a non-profit and asking for money. If you feel pressured to give, hang up.

If you do write that check it's a good idea to research the organizations you plan to give to.

Number 3.

A new virus called CryptoLocker. 

"Avoiding it isn't necessarily going to be possible," said Charles Arnett, lead technician at Bright Eyed Computer in Rochester.

It's a type of Ransomware you get by clicking on bad links or email attachments. It basically holds your computer hostage until you pay money.

"Your pictures, your documents, music, all your irreplaceable place," said Arnett.

He says bottom line you should bring your computer to an expert like him for a complete fix.

Arnett says the best way to protect your information is to back up your files daily on two hard drives. 

Bright Eyed computer sees a few cases each week of Ransomware from customers.