Supply chain snarls mean everyone is on the hunt for the things they want — maybe even need.
Plus, many people have extra cash from the stimulus payments and being stuck at home and they are shopping online more than ever. Nearly 90% of Americans say they will do some of their holiday shopping online.
This means this holiday season could be especially lucrative for fraudsters. It is very easy and cheap to set up fake online stores and they can promise to sell you anything. They get card, name, address, and phone information on hundreds of consumers and then disappear. Not only do you not get that perfect gift, but you also get hundreds or thousands of dollars charged to your account that went to make a criminal’s holiday very bright.
Don’t let the “it’s available, so I have to buy it now” mindset make you a victim. The best way to avoid this is to shop local (when you can) and when you do shop online only go to retailers you know and trust.
Additionally, do not click on links in emails or texts to go to a store’s website. This may take you to a fake site that only steals your information. Type the business’ URL in the address bar. If there is a discount attached to a specific link, there is always a way to enter the discount manually at check-out.
Above all, remember that the holidays are not about gifts or how much money you spent. They are about family, peace, and caring for others. Do not start your New Year with the stress of trying to prove you were ripped off. Start if off by knowing you did everything you could to make this a happy, safe, and stress-free season for everyone in your life.
One thing to never forget: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Rather than take a chance, take a break. Have some eggnog and call someone you love.