SANTA CLARA (KCBS) — Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, so are scam artists trying to get at your personal information. McAfee has come out with its 12 Scams of Christmas to help prevent shoppers from online predators.

Sam Masiello, director of threat management for McAfee Labs, said with iPads topping many shoppers’ lists, that they also happen to be top bait for scammers who are using social media sites when phishing for sensitive information.

“Stay away from quizzes or things that allege that you may potentially get a free or a $10 iPad. Those things don’t generally tend to materialize into anything,” he said.

Masiello said another popular scam is fake gift cards.

“You may try to enter an offer for a $3,000 Best Buy gift card if you are the first 20,000 people to sign up on this new fan page. Typically these fan pages or web sites are set up to specifically to collect people’s information so that they can use it to scam them later,” warned Masiello.

Other popular scams he mentioned include the recession scam, which translates to a pay-in-advance credit card and then the ‘help me’ scam, where you get an email from someone on your contact list and it says they are stuck in a foreign country and need you to wire them money.

When it comes to shopping online, Masiello said it’s best to use sites you recognize or have done business with before.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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