AARP trying to help you be scam-free during online holiday shopping

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 4:52 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Holiday shopping has moved online, but a new AARP survey says buying all your gifts this way increases risk of being scammed.

AARP Fraud Watch Network says you need to be a fraud fighter while shopping online.

“We as consumers really have to kind of take the responsibility to be the detective,” Seth Boffeli with AARP Fraud Watch Network said. “Our surveys show that 76% of people have experienced some sort of scam tied to the holidays.”

Boffeli says these scams happen around three things: Shipping, shopping, or charities.

“What people need to realize is that all it takes on Facebook, or even a web search, is just a slick looking ad or a video and some money to promote it,” he said.

Scammers will also send links that direct you to malicious sites.

“It’s designed to set off that panic in your head to say, ‘Hey, wait, I didn’t buy that. I’m going to call the number,” Boffeli said.

And, if you do call that number: “That person says, ‘I can help you figure this out, just give me your username and password.’ That’s a huge red flag,” Boffeli said.

Boffeli says to be scam-free, shop where you trust.

“Use those retailers that you’ve used year in and year out, because you know you can trust them,” he said.

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