TOP 5 Consumer holiday scams and how to avoid them


HOUSTON (KIAH) –  The digital security experts at nordVPN have identified five major scenarios scammers and fraudsters are currently exploiting during the 2021 holiday shopping season online.

Five Trending Online Holiday Scams and How to Avoid Them:

Phony Selling

This is the most common scam. Phony sellers set up fake accounts or websites to attract buyers and take their money without delivering the purchased goods.

Tip to Avoid Scam

Stick to websites you trust or have bought from before. If you think something is off, do some research to make sure it’s not a fake company.

Fake Invoices & Bank Notifications

This type of scam is called Authorized Push Payment (APP) fraud where fraudsters may mimic emails sent by banks, claiming that the purchases the victims have made couldn’t be processed. 

Tip to Avoid Scam

Stay organized: keep all the receipts, order confirmation numbers and other documentation, and check your credit card statements regularly. 

Lookalike Pages

Some examples are Amazoŋ.com,, googIe.comv — most users do not spot the subtle discrepancies in the address bar as long as the website design looks legitimate. 

Tip to Avoid Scam

 When making an online payment, check whether the webpage URL starts with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’. The tiny ‘s’ means the URL is secure.

“Your order has been cancelled”

These scams send you fake refunds. Once the victim clicks on the link, they are asked to enter the details of the credit card for the refund.

Tip to Avoid Scam

 Don’t click on suspicious links. Especially if it’s a shortened URL. Instead, open your browser and go to the website directly to make sure it’s legit.

“Renew your membership for the purchases you’ve made”

Once you’ve finished with your purchases, scammers will send you an email claiming that your account subscription is due and the discount cannot be applied until your renew the account.

Tip to Avoid Scam

If you are asked to provide your personal or financial information that seem unrelated or excessive, it usually signals a scam. Don’t do it!

*Bonus Tip – Use a VPN to encrypt your traffic

A trusted VPN, like NordVPN, encrypts your Internet traffic and is the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure your browsing data remains safe from hackers and data collectors.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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