You've probably heard some of this before, but the thieves and scammers are especially active during the holiday season.
That calls for increased vigilance as you shop and spend your hard-earned money.
The Better Business Bureau is taking the lead in stopping the scams---which can be pretty clever.
Few people shop with cash anymore, and the checkbook is going the way of hood ornaments as credit cards and on-line shopping take over.
Since the pick-pocket business is on the ropes, those who want to get your money are adapting.
The ATM machine is a favorite target and crooks can attach cameras and other devices to them.
KASSANDRA HELMS, BBB, MARKETING AND P.R. "When you go ahead and slide your card in and out. The scammers have a little device that reads the card information and can actually see when you put in your numbers."
Kassandra Helms and other staffers of the Better Business Bureau are taking their show and tell program to business and civic groups.
Its full of basic common sense information that is more and more focused on on-line shopping. There are several things to look out for.
KASSANDRA HELMS "When you are shopping on-line, its very important to actually double check for security features and such. For example, when you are looking at the top of the bar, make sure that its HTTPS...S stands for security....making sure your information is actually encripted."
And, what about those smart phones we're all using?
KASSANDRA HELMS " If scammers can get you to download something..they can actually put a virus in it. It can actually track even..you know a lot of phones have navigation devices. They can track where you're going, where your purchases are, who you've talked to They can even record conversations...I mean its really scary."
The Better Business Bureau says..believe it or not, your best bet is to use credit cards for your shopping. The credit card companies have numerous safety features built in..and can usually limit the amount someone could run up on your account.
The best advice for now---always be alert.
For more holiday shopping tips and information on scams, contact the Better Business Bureau at Chattanooga BBB.Org.