Wichita, Kan. (KSNW) – The holiday season is right around the corner, and with some people deciding what to buy their family members, scammers are looking for ways to get money out of people’s purses.
“We see a lot more website popping up around the fourth quarter because scammers know that people are potentially watching online,” said Dennis Grinne, state director of the Better Business Bureau.
According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales will see an increase of 3.8 percent to 4.2 percent over the previous year. Online sales will also see an 11 percent to 14 percent increase in online sales.
Denise Groin with the Better Business Bureau says that people who plan to shop online should be cautious before completing any purchase.
Before entering your payment information, look at the top of the URL and it should say https. “S” stands for Secure, it basically means that the website is encrypted, “said Dennis Groin, State Director of Better Business Bureau.
Shoppers should also be suspicious of online advertisements.
“So scammers are starting to use sponsored advertisements targeted on social media and they do so because they understand their demographic,” said Denise Groin, State Director of Better Business Bureau.
Groin says that many scammers are buying URLs, replacing them with grammatical errors, and tricking people into believing it to be a legitimate website.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid holiday scams this season:
Look-Alike Websites: When shopping online, be sure to use only legitimate websites. Look for URLs that use additional words as well as names for well-known brands.
Letters from Santa: Many reliable businesses provide personal letters from Santa, but scammers mock them to obtain personal information from the parent they are coping with. Check which is valid from bbb.org.
Emergency Scam: If traveling while traveling to another country, get a call from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested or hospitalized, be cautious. Do not send money until you confirm with another family member that it is not correct.
Temporary Vacation Jobs: Retailers and delivery services require additional support over the holidays, but should be wary of requests that require you to share personal information online or pay for job leads. Apply in person or visit the retailer’s main website to find out who is hiring.
The unusual form of payment: Beware of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, etc.
Free gift cards: Pop-up advertisements or emails offering free gift cards are often a ploy to get your personal information that can later be used for identity theft.