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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming soon-consumers who shop during the winter vacation should be aware of online scams.
According to Adobe, it is estimated that between November 1 and December 31, AOL sales will reach US$207 billion this holiday shopping season. This is a record-breaking increase of 10% over 2020. During this year, the Covid pandemic prompted more consumers to shop digitally.
Adobe estimates that cyber weekends-from Black Friday to Cyber Monday-will attract about 17% of all sales this holiday season.
According to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, 75% of American adults expect that their e-commerce through large retailers such as Amazon or Walmart will be similar to or increase in the 2020 holiday season.
Criminals may try to take advantage of numbers—and careless consumers.
According to data from the US Federal Trade Commission, from January 2020 to October 18 this year, online shopping accounted for approximately 58,000 Covid-related consumer fraud reports, more than any other type of fraud. Consumers lost a total of $48 million.
“We are entering a sensitive holiday and tax period, and we urge people to protect their personal information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Letig said in an alert on Friday that warned potential identity thieves to use these data submissions Fraudulent tax returns.
Here are three common scams to be aware of at this time of year.
According to the online safety website Social Catfish, fake retailers using fake websites may attract consumers by selling popular gifts that are out of stock or difficult to find elsewhere.
Due to supply chain issues and rising prices of certain commodities, this problem may be more prominent than in the past few years. According to Adobe’s data, consumers are expected to pay an average of 9% during Internet Week in 2021 compared to 2020.
Adobe stated in its annual holiday shopping forecast: “Out of stock notifications have remained high throughout 2021 and remain a challenge throughout the season.”
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There are some obvious signs of fraud: According to Social Catfish, the domain name of the fake website has an unrelated letter or number, and the website may have grammatical errors or limited contact information.
Social Catfish recommends that consumers should research unfamiliar companies and read customer reviews, or search the Internet for company names and the term “scam.” In addition, please do not purchase products through wire transfers, money orders or gift cards.
Social media scams
According to the Federal Trade Commission, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are “becoming a hotbed of deception.”
Federal agencies say these platforms amplify harmful content during the pandemic.
According to Social Catfish, before and after the holidays, brands and influencers usually offer free product giveaways on Instagram. Scammers may promote opportunities to win holiday prizes, but include malicious links in Instagram posts and steal consumers’ personal data.
According to AARP, approximately 38% of consumers report that they have made a purchase by clicking on social media ads in the past 12 months-this may lead them to a clone site of a legitimate store or download malware to their device superior.
According to Social Catfish, consumers should be wary of social media accounts that do not have blue check marks (the platform uses these marks to verify real pages from imitators) and be aware of typos and accounts with little other content.
Lost package scam
Consumers may not be safe even if they buy something-product delivery is also a hotbed of fraud.
According to Social Catfish, scammers may pretend to be from FedEx or other transportation companies and send text or emails with links to track packages. But clicking on the link allows criminals to steal consumers’ personal and financial information. Fraudsters may also leave voice mails or put “non-delivery” labels on consumers’ doors and attach a phone number to verify their information.
According to data from the American Association of Retired Persons, approximately one-third of adults receive false notifications about transportation issues from USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
Social Catfish warns not to click on links or call back numbers from unexpected delivery notifications. Use a verified number or website to contact the company directly.
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