LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Black Friday is almost here and Americans are set to spend a record $209 Billion buying gifts online this holiday season.
With inflation surging, consumers desperate for deals will be even more susceptible to scams this year. Here’s a look at what they are, and how to avoid them.
Social Catfish, a company that prevents online scams through reverse search technology, is warning consumers about five online shopping scams to avoid on Black Friday.
Don’t fall victim to fake deals on gaming consoles.
Scammers are advertising incredible deals on Xbox and PlayStation on social media, but once you click the link, it takes you to a look-a-like website of a major brand. Triple-check the spelling of the URL. Fake sites are often one letter off.
Gift cards are a great holiday gift, and people can save money by purchasing, but…
Gift cards are available from resale sites like giftcards.com. However, scammers are on these sites selling gift cards that arrive with no balance. Only buy gift cards directly from brands that you know and trust.
Looking for a new family member?
Scammers create a website or social media post with a photo of an adorable puppy for sale. They request payment via wire transfer, gift card or Zelle and promise to ship the puppy, but the puppy never arrives.
Do a reverse search to see if your puppy’s photo is a professionally done stock photo used on other sites. If so, it is a scam. Research breeders on akc.org.
There are also a ton of fake shipping notifications. Only track packages on the official UPS, USPS or FedEx websites.
And finally… Secondhand store scams:
Consumers are buying discounted holiday gifts from secondhand stores such as The Realreal and Poshmark.
Scammers try to get you to pay off the app via gift cards or cash apps, but don’t fall for it. Most resale sites have solid security policies if you pay within the app.