The No. 1 shopping scam this holiday season

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It’s an oldie, but a badass one.

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Supply-chain issues and shortages of some electronics, toys and other products, the holiday season and a global pandemic shutting down steam after a second year have all created a perfect storm for thieves.

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The Federal Trade Commission said there were 57,769 reports of online shopping fraud from January 1 to October 18, followed by travel scams (46,458), diet scams (15,713), government frauds (12,491) and business frauds (8,794).

And the number 1 way to contact Will be victim? Believe it or not, this is old fashioned email. Those strange phishing links were points of contact, resulting in 19,107 fraud reports in the same period.

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,The holiday season is fertile ground for scams.,

Emails were closely followed by fake websites (17,444), texts (16,742), phone calls (14,156) and social media (10,520). The FTC said in a statement that shopping scams, most of which were online, caused more than $47.3 million in damages. recent report.

“In addition to losing money on fraudulent purchases, unsuspecting consumers may provide personal information and debit or credit card details,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a public-service announcement.

“During the 2020 holiday shopping season, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 17,000 complaints about non-delivery of goods, resulting in more than $53 million in damages,” it added. This number is expected to increase this year.

The holiday season is fertile ground for scams. According to the latest data from Adobe Analytics, consumers spent $5.1 billion online on Thanksgiving and are expected to spend between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion online on Black Friday.

For the holiday season (November 1 through December 31), purchases are projected to reach $207 billion, a 10% year-on-year increase and a new all-time record. Scammers pretend to be shopkeepers and make excuses online with fake UPS or FedEx links.

how to speak alert

be vigilant? The ‘s’ in ‘https’ adds a layer of security – https:// instead of http:// – to spot websites that look legit and/or claim to be part of a well-known brand. That too-well-right price on that Gucci handbag means it’s probably a fake.

Do not agree to pay using bitcoin BTCUSD,
-1.38%
or Western Union WU,
-1.26%,
Stick to secure payment methods like Paypal PYPL,
-0.49%
And use credit card instead of debit card as the former one has more fraud protection.

FBI It also suggests: “Never shop using public Wi-Fi. Buy gift cards directly from a trusted merchant. Never use the same password for more than one account. Don’t judge a company by its website.

,Scammers try to catch you off-guard.,

“Beware of sellers posting under one name but requesting to send money to another person, or a seller claiming to be inside the country but requesting to send money to another country,” it adds. Is.

The FBI says video chat with the owner before buying a pet. “Criminals will use legitimate website photos to promise multiple buyers a non-existent pet. Red flags include additional shipping/carrier fees, taxes, and/or vaccination costs.”

Bottom line: Phone calls, emails and fake websites are all designed to catch you off-guard. For example, you might be stressed or tired after a long day at work and panic if you see a message purportedly about your holiday shopping.

If you are the victim of an online scam, report it FBI IC3 As soon as possible, report the activity to the online payment service used for the transaction, and contact your financial institution immediately.

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