Fraud Experts: Slow Down and Research Before Making Holiday Purchases
Thursday, December 2, 2021
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts say scammers are finding ways to exploit consumers.
Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support for AARP, urged the public to avoid abrupt transactions done with little research, adding fake social-media ads are a big concern this year.
She said as people quickly scroll through online ads, they might not do enough vetting to make sure the company behind a post is real. She added supply chain issues could prompt people to bypass trusted companies through internet searches.
"And they're finding these websites that look legitimate, but they're not," Nofziger observed. "Take the name of the company, put it in a search engine, and do your research. "
When entering the unknown company's name, she suggested typing the words review, scam and complaints to see what pops up. Another common scam right now is getting a message disguised as a warning from well-known delivery companies, indicating something went wrong with a shipment to your address. Experts pointed out the messages often include harmful links.
Parrell Grossman, director of the consumer protection and antitrust division for the North Dakota Attorney General's Office, said they continue to field calls for a variety of scams, including online romance situations where someone loses their money to the person they connected with.
He worries people might be more vulnerable to those scenarios right now.
"When you're lonely at the holidays, it might be the time you decide to engage with someone over the internet," Grossman remarked. "And they can be very convincing, and they will have a myriad of reasons why they need money."
Nofziger emphasized you should never feel ashamed about falling victim to a scam, and taking immediate action is the best approach.
"These are good criminals that are targeting you to steal your money," Nofziger cautioned. "You should be mad, you should be empowered to report it."
get more stories like this via email
Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…
Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …
Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …
Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…
A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …
Health and Wellness
It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …
Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …
Environmental groups are pleased with an Iowa Utilities Board ruling that requires MidAmerican Energy to make planning studies public for its Iowa Win…