- According to Adobe, US sales online this holiday shopping season are expected to reach $207 billion, a record. A large portion (about 17%) will be between Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
- According to the Federal Trade Commission, as of October 18 this year, online shopping contains approximately 58,000 COVID-related consumer fraud reports, more than any other fraud category.
- Counterfeit retailers, social media scams and missing package scams are among the common frauds this holiday season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here – and consumers shopping for the winter holidays should be on the lookout for scams online.
US online sales are expected to reach $207 billion this holiday shopping season, between November 1 and December 31. According to Adobe. This is a record and a jump of 10% in 2020, a year in which the Covid pandemic has driven more consumers to shop digitally.
Cyber Weekend — the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday — will attract about 17% of all sales this holiday season, Adobe estimates.
According to a recent AARP, seventy-five percent of American adults anticipate their e-commerce through large retailers such as Amazon or Walmart will be similar to or increased by the 2020 holiday season. Survey,
Criminals will likely try to take advantage of the quantity – and that of – unaware consumers.
Around 58,000 COVID-related consumer frauds were reported in online shopping this year from January 2020 to October 18, which is more than any other category of fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers suffered a total loss of $48 million.
“We are entering a sensitive holiday and tax period, and we urge people to protect their personal information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rattig said Friday in an alert that allowed potential identity thieves to use that data. Use warned for filing fraudulent tax returns.
Here are three common scams to watch out for during this time of year.
According to Social Catfish, an online security site, counterfeit retailers using counterfeit websites can lure consumers with big sales ads on popular gifts that are out of stock or hard to find elsewhere.
This issue may be more present than in years past due to supply-chain issues and higher prices for some goods. According to Adobe, consumers are expected to pay an average of 9% more in 2021 relative to 2020 during Cyber Week.
“Out-of-stock notifications remain high throughout 2021 and will continue to be a challenge throughout the season,” Adobe said in its annual holiday purchase forecast.
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There are some obvious signs of fraud: According to Social Catfish, a fake site’s domain name will contain an extraneous letter or number, and the site may contain grammatical errors or limited contact information.
Consumers should research unfamiliar companies and read customer reviews, or search online for company names with the word “scam,” advised Social Catfish. Also, do not buy any products by wire transfer, money order or gift card.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are “becoming a den of deceit.” According to the Federal Trade Commission.
The federal agency said the platforms have amplified harmful content during the pandemic.
According to Social Catfish, around the holidays, brands and influencers typically offer free product giveaways on Instagram. Scammers can advertise a chance to win a holiday prize but include malicious links in Instagram posts and steal consumers’ personal data.
According to the AARP, about 38% of consumers have reported making a purchase in the past 12 months by clicking on a social media ad—that could take them to a legitimate store’s clone site or download malicious software to someone’s device.
According to Social Catfish, consumers should be wary of social media accounts without blue checkmarks (platforms use these to verify a genuine page from a copycat) and look out for accounts with typos and other little content.
Consumers aren’t necessarily safe even after buying something – product delivery is also fertile ground for fraud.
According to Social Catfish, scammers can pretend to be from FedEx or another shipping firm, sending a text or e-mail with a link to track the package. But by clicking on the link, criminals can steal personal and financial information of the consumer. Fraudsters can also leave a voicemail or put a “missed delivery” tag on the door of the consumer, which will have a number to call to verify their information.
According to the AARP, about a third of adults have received fake information from someone saying they were about a shipment problem from USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
Never click a link or call back a number with an unexpected delivery notice, warns Social Catfish. Contact the company directly using a verified number or website.