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The good people that live around Willow could be excused for thinking Mother Nature was out to get them on Monday.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
12/9/2013
Scam list

There's the "12 Days of Christmas," and there's the "BBB's 12 Scams of Christmas."

The former is about the gifts bestowed by a true love. The latter comes with no affection at all.

As a matter of fact, the evil deeds might be the brainchildren of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" or one of his ne'er do well relatives.

The list of scams is as follows:

1. Malware e-cards — Viruses and malware often travel in fraudulent holiday email cards. Don't click on links or download attachments in unsolicited emails.

2. Stranded grandkids — It's the classic grandparent scam. Verify identities before wiring money out of the country or anywhere else.

3. Counterfeit gifts — Low prices on luxury goods almost always mean cheap counterfeits; purchase products from legitimate retailers and avoid too-good-to-be-true prices unless you are well acquainted with and regularly shop at the store.

4. Pickpockets — Keep purses and wallets secure when shopping and avoid setting down bags while waiting in lines.

5. Stolen gift cards — Only purchase gift cards from reputable dealers, not online or from individuals to avoid common gift card frauds.

6. Fake coupons — Be cautious when downloading digital coupons and be wary of sites that require personal information.

7. Santa scammers — Be sure websites that offer to send your child a letter from Santa are for real and not simply gathering information for identity theft purposes.

8. Fake charities — Watch out for fake charities.

9. Bogus websites — Navigate to legitimate retailers through verified channels.

10. Travel scams — Use tried and true channels for booking holiday travel and never wire money to strangers.

11. Romance scams — Be careful with online sweethearts who get cozy too fast and ask for money.

12. Puppy scams — Be very careful buying pets online, especially during the holidays.

It isn't just Santa Claus who's watching this time of year, according to the Better Business Bureau. It's scammers and thieves, too.

One we welcome; the other will steal the spirit of Christmas. Beware.