Holidays Are For Giving… And For Some, Taking.
The holidays are a time for togetherness, celebration, and giving. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the season to give gifts to themselves, using your money to pay for it. In fact, a new AARP study shows that the entire gift-giving process offers a number of opportunities for scammers to get in on the act for their own benefit.
AARP’s new survey on holiday scams found that 35% of US adults have experienced fraud when buying a product through an online ad.
Here are a few tips to consider when online shopping:
• Scammers will offer incredible deals for all the items on your holiday shopping list. But clicking the link provided may take you to a fake retail website that may be a convincing copy of a legitimate site, or to an entirely made-up site
• You may end up buying something that never arrives (or what arrives is a low-cost version of what you were expecting).
• Or, worse, your visit to the fake site could enable the crooks to download malicious software to your device, allowing them to steal logins and passwords, even to financial accounts.
• If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• If you’ve never heard of a company before, check it out. 1- Type the company name into a web browser with the words “complaint, scam, fraud” and see if anything negative comes up. And 2- Look for spelling errors, unprofessional website design, limited contact options, or unusual web addresses.
• Avoid clicking on links even if you think the message or the ad is from a familiar retailer — instead, go to your web browser and type the web address you know to be the right one to avoid getting sent to a cloned site.
Source: (AARP- Watchdog Alerts)