With the holidays approaching, online shoppers should be aware of big sales and “special offers” that seem too good to be true. Check out the following scams for tips on keeping yourself safe from potential fraud this holiday season.
- The Shipping Scam
If you are an online shopper who waits until the holidays are right around the corner to get the best deals, be aware that scammers take advantage of this time by targeting lesser known sites. Some companies will charge for same day shipping but send items through regular mail to cut costs. Before making any large purchases this season, consider checking review sites and the Better Business Bureau to be sure you’re buying from a reputable company.
- The Fake Ticket Scam
While the holidays are a great opportunity to give a loved one tickets to their favorite concert or attraction, be cautious about where you’re purchasing them. Some third party websites and vendors offer tickets at a discounted rate, but these aren’t always what they seem.
Scammers can take advantage by creating fake tickets and tickets that are only valid at certain times or on certain days. Some offer tickets at discounted rates but charge steep commissions for purchasing them through their site rather than the real company site.
To avoid this scam, check out the company that owns the venue and compare its ticket prices during low and high traffic periods. Then compare their prices to the third party vendor’s prices. If you choose to purchase from a third party ticketing site be sure to read their return/refund and pricing schedule policies for potential “hidden costs”.
- The Bogus Purchase Scam
In the bogus purchase scam, scammers will try to convince you that you have an item on hold, and you must give them payment information to complete the order. Scammers will often use companies like Amazon or Walmart because of their high traffic during the holidays.
If you receive any calls, emails, or text messages asking about an order that you didn’t place, do not engage with the caller/sender. Confirming your contact information could potentially open the door for other scammers to contact you. It is best to block the sender to prevent any potential fraud.
If you’ve placed an order recently, contact the merchant directly using the phone or email on their website to ensure your order is secure. If possible, try visiting a physical location to check on the order with a customer service representative. Also, informing the company of the scam you experienced will help them to inform other customers of potential fraud.