ABA: Foundation and the FBI Release New Infographic on Holiday Shopping Scams

The infographic provides tips to help consumers detect and avoid falling for online shopping scams, like non-payment and non-delivery scams

The American Bankers Association Foundation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have joined together to release a new infographic offering consumers important tips to avoid online shopping scams this holiday season. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, Americans lost $337 million to non-payment and non-delivery scams in 2021. In these scams, buyers pay for products or services online, but never receive them. Conversely, sellers ship goods or provide services, but never receive payment.

“With today’s economic challenges, many people are looking for ways to save money this holiday shopping season,” said Sam Kunjukunju, vice president, consumer education with the ABA Foundation. “If they’re not careful, they may run into a scam instead of a good deal. We’re urging consumers to use caution and remember that when a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

In the infographic, the ABA Foundation and FBI provide tips to help consumers detect and avoid falling for online shopping scams:

  • Recognize warning signs such as significantly low prices, the seller exclusively accepting payment by wire transfers, vague or non-existent seller contact information, or websites that have poor or incorrect spelling and grammar.
  • Practice good cyber habits like being cautious about clicking links, not assuming a message about updating your password or account information is safe, only entering payment information on sites that have a URL with “https” and avoiding using the same password for every account.
  • Do business with companies you trust by doing research beforehand, verifying contact information, avoiding buyers who have specific shipping requests to avoid taxes and making sure to always monitor the shipping process.
  • Your payment method matters so never wire money directly to a seller, only use peer-to-peer payment services with people you have met in-person and trust, and watch out for sellers who only accept gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.

If you become a victim of an online shopping scam you should inform your financial institution, contact your local law enforcement and report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Consumers can find additional ABA Foundation resources in the “Protect Yourself and Your Money” section of aba.com, which features information on avoiding scams, like peer-to-peer payment scams and charity scams, and how to protect yourself online and protect your identity.

For more information and to view the infographic, click here.

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