4 scams to watch out for as you holiday shop

Published on Jul 01, 2021

4 scams to watch out for as you holiday shop

With the holiday season fast approaching, scammers are out in force trying to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. They are constantly working on new and innovative ways to trick you out of your money.

Don’t let that happen! We went to Scam Detector to find out the latest news in scams so we could warn you before it’s too late.

  1. Fake e-commerce websites – It’s doesn’t take much for scammers to create polished e-commerce websites that’ll have you convinced to buy. The catch, of course, is that there is no product. Sites like this tend to look very professional. They will even send confirmation emails and fake tracking numbers, but nothing will ever come. How can you avoid these scams? Look up the company in a general search or check their information with the BBB before purchasing with new companies you don’t know.
  2. Amazon empty box – You know it’s important to be cautious when shopping online, but you thought big sites like Amazon would be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even Amazon can be a platform for scammers. In this new scam, fraudulent resellers on Amazon Prime ship you an empty box so that you will confirm receipt of delivery. Once you get inside to open it, you find out that there is nothing in the box. The ‘A-Z Delivery Guarantee’ has been fulfilled, you received the package, but it wasn’t what you ordered. Look out for products labeled ‘Just Launched’ or for stores that seem to sell anything under the sun. Too much variety is a red flag. If you do fall victim to this scam, Amazon wants to know. Use this link to report the issue.
  3. Fake Airbnb homes – While travelling this holiday season pay attention to a rising scam on Airbnb. This involves a potential host posting a fake listing for a rental and then communicating with you outside of the Airbnb site to collect payment through a bank transfer. They will often claim that the Airbnb site is having problems and it will be easier to use their personal email address. That’s a big red flag since Airbnb does not allow this. Reputable hosts will not need to communicate with you through their private email and have no reason to require bank deposits.  If a listing looks suspicious, check out comparable homes or try a reverse image search to see if it uses stock images.
  4. Fake Wifi – If you’re travelling this holiday season make sure you are cautious when connecting to the internet in transit. Pay attention to the networks you are selecting and make sure you don’t login to anything while connected to unsecured networks. Some hackers will setup fake wifi accounts with the name of the hotel or café you are visiting, hoping that you will accidentally connect to their account and share your personal information. To avoid these, make sure to check with the front desk or concierge to be sure you are connecting to the correct network. If in doubt, don’t connect.

Pay attention this holiday season to make sure you are protected from scammers. Don’t let bad apples take the joy out of your holidays.