AG Rosenblum Urges Oregonians to Watch Out for Scammers this Holiday Season
For many Oregonians, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the perfect time to check items off their holiday shopping lists. For others, it’s an opportunity to trick people out of their money and sensitive personal information.
“In the midst of all the holiday excitement, it is important to be aware of the potential for scams, said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “By staying informed, you can ensure a safe and successful experience during these popular shopping days.”
“This year my team has assembled a list of the top scams to watch out. Read this list carefully and share it with your friends and family,” said AG Rosenblum.
- Websites requiring you to download an app
Imagine you’re about to make an online purchase on a website with an amazing deal. Suddenly, it turns out that the only way to grab this exclusive offer is by making a purchase through the company’s app.
While some legitimate online companies might offer exclusive deals for mobile app users, you need to be cautious before downloading any new apps. If you are shopping on a website that you’re unfamiliar with and the company asks you to download its app to complete the transaction – don’t. You’re most likely being tricked into downloading a fraudulent app designed to steal your payment information.
- Free Black Friday Gift Cards
Another common scam involves a notification that you won a gift card from a big retailer like Amazon or Walmart. According to the notification, all you need to do to claim the gift card is text back a random code or click a URL.
This is how scammers can collect your details and infect your device with malware. The scam might then be sent to all the contacts in your address book. To stay safe, avoid clicking any suspicious links and do not interact with the notifications.
- Hot Deal Scam
If a deal seems too good to be true on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it probably is. When making online purchases, you should always receive an order confirmation with a tracking number. But in this scam, you won’t. And surprise, surprise, the package never arrives. When you attempt to contact the seller for help, you learn they have disappeared along with your payment and shipping information.
- Fake Order Scam
Phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but modern-day phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. In the fake order scam, con artists will send cryptic text messages or unsolicited emails to notify you of a “problem” with your online order.
But you never ordered anything! They want you to click the link in the phishing email, which leads to a website asking for your banking credentials or other sensitive information, which they can use to commit other frauds.
These emails are designed to appear like they came from a legitimate sender, like Amazon or Walmart. Please look out for these and don’t fall for them!
- Phony Tracking Number Scam
Phishing attacks go a step further in this scheme, as criminals will send fake delivery notifications by text or email. Usually, these notifications are disguised to be from FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service.
Just like the fake order phishing scam, you’ll be invited to click a link to accept your delivery, where they’ll steal your personally identifying information.
- Bogus Website Scam
Cybercriminals are setting up imitation websites of popular online stores. These copycat websites look exactly like the official retailer, and the untrained eyes of an average consumer can easily fall for the trap.
If you have unsuspectingly made an online purchase from a fake retail website, criminals may have stolen your credit card information and other personal details, and you should contact your credit card and/or bank immediately.
To avoid falling victim to one or more of these scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, review these 10 practical tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely, and protect your personal information online.
If you have fallen victim, be sure to report it to the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or by phone at 1-877-877-9392.