Holiday season is scam season. Learn to stay safe with a new teletown hall!

Posted on 11/01/21

The holiday season is now approaching. With the growing surge of online shopping in Ohio, scammers are looking to further mimic legitimate brands with illegitimate offerings. Just last year, global retail e-commerce experienced sales growth of over 25% (according to Statista), making online scams a lucrative play for today’s scammers. On November 17, AARP Ohio is bringing you a new virtual teletown hall, featuring representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau to discuss how you can stay safe this holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Klaus Vedfelt (Getty Images)

There is a large and evolving arsenal for holiday scams and fraud. In order to stay safe, here are some of the most notable warning signs to be aware of:

  • Unreasonably large discounts or free gifts: While holiday discounts are among the largest of the year, scammers attempt to entice you with deals that are in reality, too good to be true.
  • Grammatical errors: Some scams specifically target those who may miss details.
  • Websites without an address or sufficient contact information: Some scammers or fraudsters solely leave an email or website as their method of contact. This is opposed to a legitimate business, which requires locations to operate from, and places where customers and suppliers can find them.
  • No privacy policy: Privacy policies are long and drawn-out statements used by legitimate companies for transparency and regulation. This is often one thing scam and fraud operations may choose to omit on their websites.
  • Unreputable charities: Scammers often take advantage of the holiday spirit, and they are known to run illegitimate charities that fund money to themselves. If you are considering making donations to unfamiliar charities, make sure to do your research first.
  • Unsolicited emails and texts: While emails have long been within a scammer’s toolkit, major brands have added SMS to their promotional tactics. Scammers have now followed suit. However, legitimate promotional emails and texts should have required you to have opted in. Scammers and fraudsters embed their emails and texts with malicious links that can infect your device and/or lead you further into the funnel of their operations.

At 11:00 am on Wednesday, November 17, ask the experts: Larissa Bungo, Assistant Regional Director of the FTC’s Cleveland office, and Ericka Dilworth, Director of Operations for the Cleveland Better Business Bureau.

Registration Coming Soon

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This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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