The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned that internet buyers might lose more than $53 million during the holiday season this year.
The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 17,000 complaints about the non-delivery of goods during the 2020 holiday shopping season, resulting in losses of more than $53 million. Due to speculations of item shortages and the continuing epidemic, this figure is expected to rise during the 2021 Christmas season.
Criminals entice their victims in multiple ways.
E-mails advertising hot-ticket or hard to find items, such as event tickets or gaming systems. Untrusted websites and ads promoting unrealistic discounts and bargains. Social media posts, often appearing to have been shared by a known friend, offering vouchers, gift cards, freebies, and contests. Social media hosted advertisements for non-existent or counterfeit items. Online surveys designed to steal personal information.
In addition to losing money on a bogus purchase, unsuspecting consumers may be giving away personal information and debit or credit card details. Victims may receive nothing except a compromised identity or fraudulent card charges.
The holidays are also a popular time for pet purchases. Criminals will use legitimate website photos to promise the non-existent pet to