This article will describe in detail how to deal with holiday online shopping scams. Do you ever receive malicious or suspicious messages when the holidays are coming up? They usually offer you discounts or tempting promos that sometimes sound illogical. That could be a holiday online shopping scam. In the practice, there are more forms of holiday online shopping scams – how to deal with them is another thing that you should know. Further, this writing will discuss types of holiday online shopping scams – how they work, tips to protect yourself from them, and what to do when you already get scammed.
Types of holiday online shopping scams
Most holiday online shopping scams disguise in these forms.
1. Discounts and gift card scams
To celebrate the holidays, many online stores create promos to attract consumers. Scammers usually imitate the promos by using similar pictures, logos, and even texts to send to their prey. They usually require the prey to send them money first or to fill out personal information forms. After sending the money or filling up the form, people usually don’t get anything even if they receive a gift card, it is usually an empty one.
2. Fake online shops/links
As technology gets advanced, so do the scammers. They often build sites that look a hundred percent similar to the original sites. However, instead of using credit cards, they use different payments such as cash apps, COD, wire transfers, or even crypto. They also ask you to log in to steal your private data.
3. Delivery notification
When you don’t remember checking out things online, but you receive a message stating that your order is on its way. That might be a scam. It usually happens around holidays when people are busy buying things. After sending a receipt of the delivery, you are directed to a certain link to pay the shipping fee. Even worse, sometimes scammers also send fake missing delivery, so they ask for more money to find your package and resend it.
4. Holiday gifts for each purchase
Almost looks like a discount and gift card scam, instead, the scammers offer you a gift after certain purchases. Of course, the purchase and the gift are also fake. They even often provide only COD payment, so they will pack an empty gift.
5. Fake surveys and giveaways
Using famous brands, scammers usually spread fake surveys and giveaways that lead people to type down their personal data including social media accounts, credit card details, passwords, and pins. In the end, they might say to give you a reward but still, it’s a forgery.
6. Holiday gift exchanges
The most common example of this type is the Secret Santa scam. Defrauders tell you that you have a secret Santa who is sending you a gift, but you have to pay for the shipping fee, or you need to pay for a gift so that you can be another secret Santa. If you never sign up for this program or you don’t know the person, this is totally a scam.
How the scams work
The first thing they always do is to prepare the scheme they are planning. Then they send links through any media to reach as many people as they can that include emails, phone texts, dm, messenger, and social media posts. The links could lead to a fake website, survey, or form that was already mentioned previously as a holiday online shopping scam.
They aim to gain your personal data or even your money. Some of them even create a countdown display so people will create purchases under time pressure. In a survey, 75% of US citizens experience at least one form of scam in a year. So, it is crucial for you to understand holiday online shopping scams – how to deal with them also.
Tips to protect yourself from holiday online shopping scams
The basic one is to know the types of scams and their red flags such as too-good-to-be-true offers, no valid details, suspicious domain, typos wordings, unusual payment method, all good reviews with 5 stars, and last but not least asking for your personal details.
Know the official online store site. It includes the domain, usual layout display, and payment method. If you find something different and suspicious you better contact them first. Use website checkers. There are many website checkers to verify whether the link that you receive is safe and official or not.
Check the review and google it first. The review from the fake site seems too fake because it mostly contains good reviews without any cons. Search the online shop name in Google, some people usually upload lists of scams on their page. Never click suspicious links that indicate holiday online shopping scams – how to deal with them simply by not clicking or jumping to the link.
Only use credit cards for online purchases. By using credit cards, you are using the bank’s money. So when you get scammed, the banks can use their authority to take their money back. That’s why scammers always avoid credit cards for the fake payment they make. Yet they try to steal your personal data to get money from your credit cards, so the money that they take is under your name.
Check routinely your bank statement. Often people are unaware that their money is stolen through the leaked personal data to access their bank account. If it has already happened, then you can do as follow.
What to do when you get scammed
The immediate thing to do is to protect your account and other possible accounts to get hacked. Protect yourself by changing passwords/pins and reporting the scams to the authority and banks. Some countries and banks have their scheme to get the money back, so do report the scam within 24 hours.
If you are unable to change the PINs/password, ask the authorities to block your account. Spread the messages that you have got scammed to your closest ones. As the scammer might know your personal info, they could impersonate you to scam people around you. People also will be more aware and cautious of holiday online shopping scams – and how to deal with them too. Liked our article? Like and share it around 🙂