Scammers hoping to cash in on holiday online shoppers

Posted at 1:23 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 14:23:42-05

WISCONSIN — There is no doubt that there will likely be an increase in online shopping especially this holiday season.

While some items may be in short supply, there will be no shortage in the number scams that will be targeting online shoppers. Here are some of the more common scams and how to avoid getting taken:

Fake websites have become very popular this year. These sites appear on social media or as pop-ups promoting a unique or hard to find product at a great price. However, once you click, pay, and place your order, the order never arrives. When you try to go back to the site to get help, either the site has disappeared or you are faced with no response to your email request. These sites also do not have a phone number or street address and many are left with no way to get their money back.

Scammers have also been sending very real looking, but fake emails, posing as a well-known retailer like Amazon. The email states that there is a problem with your order, billing, or delivery instructions, and you are told to click on a link to resolve things. However, when you click on the link, you may be tricked into providing personal information like a credit card number, or be at risk for a hack.

To avoid getting taken, check out websites and products before clicking on links in social media, or placing an order. Make sure that the company has a U.S. street address and phone number and only pay via credit card.

If you get an email telling you of an issue with your order, do not click on the link. Go to a site that you know is legitimate, click on your account or the customer support page, and ask questions.

If you are unsure if the site or email is legitimate or if you believe you have fallen victim, contact state and federal consumer organizations and alert our Call 4 Action office. Your information could help others from being scammed in the future.

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