Avoid online holiday shopping scams with these tips

According to a study by Statista, 75% of consumers say they’ve been hit with an online shopping scam. And, with just a week of shopping left until the holidays, the BBB is warning consumers to be extra vigilant.

”Whether it’s fake orders, fake websites, refunds, things like that, 32% of all scams across the entire year reported to us, across the entire nation are under the bucket of online shopping,” said Regional Manager for the BB, Logan Hickle.

Hickle said the most likely scam you will see is what is called a “look-a-like site,” which steals logos and branding from major storefronts. We found one that looked like Sephora, but the domain was quietmightca.com which the BBB confirmed had the hallmarks of a quick set-up site.

“It’s easy nowadays to set up a website to even make it look secure with that little lock symbol,” said Hickle.

These fake sites look just like the big brands but offer deeper discounts to lure you in. That is why the BBB said you must take a second look before hitting ‘buy.’

”Don’t just click on the link that’s provided to you in the advertisement. Go to the profile, research them, and see if they’re verified, but also look at those comments. Look at their most recent posts, look at those comments,” Hickel said.

Another thing to be wary of is tricky email confirmations for orders you didn’t make. These are phishing attempts.

“You’re going to see that email, it’s going to say they need more information or you need to pay a certain amount of money. You click on the link in the email, which you shouldn’t do, but you go ahead and click on the link in the email and you’re giving over your personal information. You’re giving over credit card information,” he said.

Another red flag that you may be dealing with fraud can be shipping issues.

“Especially if it’s a fake order altogether, they’re going to call you and they may say, oh, well, you need to pay for insurance. Oh, it’s stuck in customs. You need to pay more money. So be careful about that,” he said.

One thing the BBB said to do around the holidays is turn on your credit card alerts. If your credit card gets into the wrong hands, then they will also be spending fast and you can move quickly to protect yourself.