How to stay away from online shopping and shipping scams this holiday season | Jobs Reply



40% of all scam reports to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​in the last few years are related to online shopping. People are drawn from social media posts to fake websites to get good deals on “hot” items.

This is the time for scammers to try to ruin your vacation. Many of us rely on the Internet to shop during the holidays. Alas, the people on Santa’s Naughty List know this.

Online shopping scams are the #1 most dangerous scam for consumers. 40% of all scam reports to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​in the last few years are related to online shopping. People are drawn from social media posts to fake websites to get good deals on “hot” items.

When you click on a Buy Now link in a social media post, you are directed to a fake or fake website. Pay attention to the grammar and spelling on the website. If it is poor, it is possible that the website is fake. Maybe the web address (URL) is misspelled to match the real website but it’s not exactly the same (www.macys.com vs. www.maceys.com). If you don’t want it, you might as well not catch it. Also, limited contact options such as filling out a form or a “personal” email address instead of a business using a business web address is another indicator that a website may not be legitimate.

Tips for safe online shopping from the BBB

  • Look up the seller through the BBB, especially if you have never done business with them.
  • Look for “https” (the s is for “secure”) and the little lock icon in the address bar before entering payment or personal information.
  • Beware of fake websites. Check the URL, look for bad grammar, and search for the site’s contact information.
  • Stay away from websites that have no active customer service number and no physical address.
  • Google the company name for reviews, history and more information.
  • Use a credit card to get help if something goes wrong. Be careful if you can’t pay by credit card.

Shipping Scams

As if worrying about getting scammed when you shop online isn’t enough, we now have to worry about shipping scams from those nasty deck thieves. Shipment tracking information can be falsified. As more consumers shop online, there is also an increase in the number of notifications being sent about shipping information from retailers and carriers.

Scammers are using this new attack to send phishing emails with links that may allow unwanted access to your private information or download malware to your device. They may also try to trick people into paying new shipping fees. They hope you are too busy or distracted and will act without thinking.

Fraudsters also use fake “missed delivery” tags. Scammers leave a note on your door saying they are having trouble delivering the package to you. They ask you to call a phone number to reschedule your delivery, but it’s really a ploy to get your personal information.

BBB Tips for Avoiding Delivery Scams

  • Look closely to make sure it’s a legitimate business. Avoid clicking on tracking links; go to the sender’s website and type in the code to see if it’s authentic.
  • Remember: Delivery companies do not ask for payment or personal information in return for goods already in transit.
  • Take precautions to ensure safe delivery: If you’re having an important or breakable item delivered to your home, consider purchasing shipping insurance.
  • Always get the tracking numbers of your purchase and check the shipping progress from time to time on the original website.
  • Request a Signature: Chances are this feature may come with a price tag, but it may cost you an extra fee.
  • Don’t leave packages sitting on your doorstep. Delivered to work, if possible, or to a secure holding facility: Whole Foods and Walgreens will accept Amazon delivery. The FedEx Office will pick up the FedEx delivery for you. A UPS store will handle UPS packages.
  • Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering.

If you see a scam, report it to the BBB through their BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others avoid becoming victims of similar scams.

Our goal with Wallet Alerts remains the same – to help you protect your money. If you have questions or need more information about anything discussed here, please call (901) 222-0206. We are happy to help you avoid scams, fraud and predatory lenders. We hope you have a safe, scam-free holiday season!

Regina Morrison Newman is a Shelby County Trustee



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