"You can be scammed in many ways in the retail environment, as well as the online world," said Steve Bernas, who's with the Better Business Bureau.
Bernas says this time of year is when people have to be vigilant when shopping by following some common sense rules, such as keeping track of all of the credit cards you use while shopping.
"There's been people that have been scammed in stores with identity theft," said Bernas. "The salesperson will take your credit card and swipe it through another machine. Obviously your identity is stolen at that particular point."
If you decide to buy gift cards, don't just figure out how much money you plan to put on the card as a gift.. Also make sure that the gift card has the value.
"Make sure that pin number... the backing is not scratched because somebody may have taken that pin number off already on you and will wait until you purchase it and charge it as well," Bernas said.
And if you get an email ad from a retailer, even a well known one, make sure it came from that company, because it could actually be from someone running a scam.
"If you think it's the merchant, go yourself to the website," said Bernas. "Don't follow the email trail, because the email may have a URL that looks like your favorite URL but it's a hidden, embedded one that takes you to a different site that's not the site you wanted to go to."
Another common holiday scam is the bogus charitable plea.
The BBB suggests researching the charity on their site, so you can find out where the money is actually going before you donate.
You can find that information here- http://www.bbb.org/us/charity/