By Better Business Bureau. November 28, 2017.
This holiday season, be sure to vet websites before making a purchase. Scammers are using phony UPS and FedEx tracking numbers to fool shoppers into thinking their package is on the way, according to recent BBB Scam Tracker reports
How the Scam Works:
You are shopping online and find a site with amazing deals. The website and the products look legitimate, so you decide to take a chance and make a purchase. After checkout, you get a confirmation email that contains a tracking number from UPS, FedEx, or another shipping service.
What happens next depends on the scam. In some versions, the tracking number provided is completely fake. In other variations, the number is real and appears to work at first… until “your” item is delivered somewhere else.
Either way, the outcome is the same. Providing a phony tracking number allows scammers to stall and shift blame for the missing package to the shipping service. In reality, your purchase never existed in the first place.
In a similar manner, there are scammers who will send you an email that is an attempt to get you to verify a purchase (might look like it comes from a common service such as Amazon) by clicking on a link. DON’T DO IT! These and other similar schemes can lead to bad consequences including infecting your computer/devise. So always be very aware before clicking on any link provided in an email that you are not able to verify the authenticity.
Protect Yourself from an Online Shopping Scam
- Before buying online, confirm the site has real contact information. Make sure the seller has a working phone number and address on the website, so you can contact them in case of problems.
- If the price seems too good to be true, there’s probably something wrong. Be wary if the item is selling for significantly lower than what you’ve seen elsewhere.
- Review BBB online shopping tips. Many online purchase scams use similar tactics. See BBB.org/shoppingonline/ for more advice.
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