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Holiday scams target virtual shopping events

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 9:32 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers to be on high alert for scammers looking to take advantage of virtual holiday markets or online pop-up events due to COVID-19.

This scam, new to 2020, targets some of the events that are happening online this year to promote small businesses that would have normally hosted indoor sales.

Scammers can create fake event pages that look the same or slightly different than the one you are looking for. When you register for the event, they may ask you for ticket payment.

According to the BBB, sometimes the “ticket” itself is a scam.

“The event information could be made by con artists...fake event pages, social posts, and emails to confuse attendees into sharing their credit card information,” officials said in a press release.

Some scams reported are similar, but focus on social media shopping pages.

As some virtual holiday markets promote vendors who can post photos of their products and links to their websites, some frauds can take advantage of the situation. According to the BBB’s press release, “some consumers reported to BBB that they the clicked the links provided, thinking they lead to an online shop. Instead, the sites downloaded malware.”

Online security experts say this time of year, consumers need to be on their guard and do their homework before sending any sensitive information online.

Also, when making any purchases, use your credit card. This way, if anything goes wrong you can file a claim with your credit card company.

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