Three Holiday Fraud Threats

Watch Out For These Three Holiday Fraud Threats

It’s no coincidence that the busiest season for shopping coincides with the highest period for fraud. Every day, fraudsters target consumers with an array of legitimate seeming propositions. But during the holidays, fraudsters make extra efforts to trick and defraud consumers. Here are the top three fraud threats coming this holiday season.

Fake Retails Sites

Identity Theft: Protect Yourself
Are you seeing a deal that’s too good to be true? That might be because it isn’t. Fake retails sites are websites set up to look like real merchants (including well-known brands), but actually leads to a fraudster-held account. Fake retail sites have become especially popular in the age of social media, where posts and accounts look legitimate but are not.

What to Watch Out For?
Domain name and/or website copy contains misspellings, IP address is non-U.S., website doesn’t have a HTTPS (secured) URL, or generally looks off.

Mystery Shopping

Everyone is looking to pick up a little extra cash this time of year. Mystery shopping scams (or secret shopping scams) take advantage of that desire by luring victims into job opportunities where they ‘test’ products and services but are first required to pay the employer for a fee or license. In reality, the job doesn’t actually exist.

What to Watch Out For?
Shopping or dining-related job opportunities that require you to pay the employer first, wiring money to your employer or depositing a check into your bank account on their behalf.

Charity Scams

Scammers are always finding new lows. Charity scams take advantage of our generosity. Fraudsters pose as a legitimate charitable organization and steal donations before they’re discovered.

What to Watch Out For?
High-pressure pitches through phone, email, or in-person; to donate, go to accredited charities.

Believe you’ve become a victim of identity theft?

Notify your financial institution(s) and go to or call 877-438-4338 or TDD (202) 326-2502 to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This info was compiled by Advanced Fraud Solutions, the leader in payments fraud detection.