WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Families are getting ready to shop for the holidays, but before buying your gifts the Better Business Bureau is warning of potential schemes related to your holiday shopping.

“It’s more during the holiday season versus the non-holiday but you know it’s still just a routine thing,” said Hilda Martinez, South Texas President for the Better Business Bureau.

This gift-giving season, Martinez shares the importance of looking out for fake websites that are trying to steal your money. 

“You think you’re actually going into a national website and it turns out to be you’re going to a different website for example out of the country,” she said.

Martinez added that while there are many types of online schemes, she said dealing with schemes out of the country can be more challenging. 

“That’s going to be very hard for anybody to try and either get your money back or your merchandise so be very careful who you are dealing with,” she said.

Martinez assures there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from these crimes. 

“Check, verify. Go all the way to the bottom of the website where it says contact us it should have the complete name, address, and phone number or even the return policies,” she said.

When dealing with a smaller business, Martinez shares some of the questions you need to be asking yourself. 

“Who am I talking to? What business is it? Where is it located? and what’s their phone number?,” she added. Martinez also warns about return policies this holiday season. “If you are gift-giving to somebody else find out, can I get a gift receipt? Can they return if it doesn’t fit? That’s what you need to find out ahead of time.”

If you are hesitant about a certain website, you can contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if it exists.