It’s the spookiest time of year where people are purchasing Halloween costumes and decorations left and right. However, scammers love to scare their victims out of thousands of dollars and will do anything they can to ruin someone’s Halloween. They create phishing ads, fake websites, and fraudulent tickets to all of your favorite haunted houses then claim that you can’t get these deals anywhere else. This provokes victims to want to fall for these scams so that they can get the best deals on their products. For these reasons, it is important to know how to watch out for Halloween online shopping scams during this time of year.
Halloween Online Shopping Scams to Watch Out For
Phishing Email Ads
Scammers send out phishing emails that advertise fake online stores claiming to have the best deals. Victims think that they will get the best deals on these websites, so they click the links within these festive-looking emails. They click through to the website which downloads malware on their device without them knowing it.
They are also able to view these phony products on this fake website at too-good-to-be-true prices. They think that this website is legit so they choose the products they would like to purchase and click checkout. Then once they go onto the checkout page, they are prompted to enter their personal and financial information into the website. Scammers then steal this information and use it to drain their victim’s bank accounts.
A victim performs a Google search on the best deals on Halloween costumes and scrolls through a list of websites. The victim finds a Halloween online store that claims to have the best deals and decides to purchase their costumes from this website.
Once they add the costumes they want to their cart, the website claims that they need to enter their personal and financial information so that they can ship their costumes. Once the victim enters their information, the website claims that they will send their costumes soon. However, the victim never receives their costumes, and the website they purchased their costumes from no longer exists.
Victims search the web for tickets to their favorite scary theme parks and haunted houses for Halloween. They find websites claiming to sell tickets to these events for super cheap. Then, they decide they can’t pass up this irresistible deal and decide to purchase the tickets on the website. They add the tickets to their cart and go to the checkout page, only to find out that they need to enter their personal and financial information to proceed.
Once they enter their personal and financial information, the scam website claims that the victim receives their tickets in their email inbox. However, once they get to the event and try to scan their barcode, the ticket doesn’t read on the company’s system. That’s when they realize they spent a bunch of money on a fake ticket that will not get them into the event no matter how hard they try.
How to Avoid Halloween Online Shopping Scams
- Don’t give out your personal and financial information to websites that seem suspicious.
- Don’t give out personal information that doesn’t make sense when purchasing something, such as your social security number.
- Do your research on what website to shop on before making a purchase on that website. If people are leaving good reviews about it, then you know it’s legit. However, if there are no reviews or bad reviews then you might have found a scam site.
- Don’t click on any links within emails if the email sender seems suspicious. For example, if their email doesn’t have the business name at the end (@socialcatfish.com) then chances are it’s a scam email address.
- Don’t buy tickets to your favorite events from any website unless it’s from the official website of the event you are going to.
- Only shop at known websites such as Amazon or Party City for your Halloween costumes and decor.
- Report any scam that you have been a part of to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with when figuring out the things to watch out for when trying to avoid Halloween online shopping scams!