The pandemic did not stop scammers. From January 1, 2021 through October 2021, the FTC said there were 57,769 online shopping fraud reports, 46,458 travel scams, 15,713 diet scams, 12,491 government imposter scams and 8,794 business imposter scams. Now that the holiday season is upon us, you can expect even more.
The number one method scammers used to fool people in 2020 was via old fashioned email. That was closely followed by bogus websites, texts, phone calls and social media. The FBI expects this holiday season to follow last holiday season. During 2020, scammers favored “promised item” fraud. Essentially, they fooled people into purchasing items that never showed up. The 2020 holiday season saw more than 17,000 non-delivery of goods complaints, worth over $53 million in losses.
The best defense against holiday scams is to pay attention to details. When shopping online, use only reputable sites. Look for an “https” in websites’ URL — that indicates an extra layer of cyber security. Don’t use public wi-fi to buy anything; scammers can hack into that transaction easier than you think. Use a credit card when buying goods, as that provides more fraud protection than your debit card. As Marketwatch reports, be wary of any sellers posting as one person, then asking you to send money to a different name. If something seems like it’s too good to be true, it likely is. The more vigilant you are about shopping this holiday season, the merrier it will be.