Here’s how to avoid online holiday shopping scams
ROSEVILLE, Minn. – Giving season at this time of year usually includes a lot of spending. Unfortunately, malicious people take advantage of this.
Last year, 40% of all scams reported to the Better Business Bureau involved online purchases. Much of what happens during the holiday season.
The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us, and while malls like Rosedale aren’t quite bustling yet, the rush for bargains and on-time shipping is approaching.
“But when we get to a jamming phase, we’ll be more susceptible to scams coming at us through social media, text messages, emails,” said Bao Vang of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. “And we’re not going to think as logically as we do throughout the year about being scammed.”
Spending your money at a physical store is one of the surest ways to avoid scams. But our shopping habits tend towards the online market, where the criminals hide.
“They’re going to try to do two things. Number 1, try to take your hard-earned money, or number 2, they try to steal your identity,” Vang said.
Impersonation scams are a method, like a fake website that looks like a legitimate retailer. They will claim to have a product that is sold out everywhere else, or have one at a cheaper price than other retailers.
The website link can be sent to you via email or social media. The goal is to make you pay for something and never get it – or to steal your personal information.
“Check if it’s a secure website, and it’s as simple as identifying if it starts with HTTPS. That ‘S’ right at the end of ‘HTTPS’ is… the symbol for a secure site,” Vang said.
In line with our online shopping theme, delivery scams are on the rise. Some text messages will prompt you to click on a link because there was a problem with a package. Scammers pretend to be UPS or the Postal Service in hopes of stealing personal information or downloading malware onto a device.
It also arrives by e-mail. Do not click on the link.
“If you are expecting a package, go to the original site and click on this link from there which contains your password and secure information on this site and identify when it really arrives,” he said. she stated.
Here’s how to shop online safely:
* If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
* Use a credit card, as fraudulent purchases can often be disputed.
* Do your research to make sure an online retailer is legitimate.
The Better Business Scam Tracker can help you identify which ones are not.
“We need to be sure that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that our product or service is a real one,” Vang said.
The BBB estimates that its scam tracker saved people $31 million last year.