LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) October 12, 2012
As trick-or-treaters and partygoers prepare for Halloween, Scambook, an online complaint resolution platform, today warned consumers of the most popular schemes lurking on the Internet. Using consumer feedback and data from the past year while also monitoring current trends, Scambook has compiled a list of the top scams to avoid this Halloween.
“More and more consumers search for the best deal online and that leads to more and more scammers looking to take advantage of them,” said Kevin Yu, VP of Operations at Scambook. “Scambook resolves fraudulent claims, but we also want to prevent them from happening in the first place by being a resource of information for consumers. Holidays like Halloween encourage fraudulent activities and people need to be aware of the potential dangers out there.”
The following details the top three trends in Halloween scams, along with tips for avoiding fraudsters.
A Cyber Trick, Not A Treat
Cybercriminals like to capitalize on major holidays to spread their viruses and malware programs by sending fake Halloween e-cards, links to bogus games or phony video clips - all commonly known as phishing. Last year, a popular phishing scheme promised jack-o-lantern cut out guides that instead downloaded a Trojan virus on victims’ computers. Additionally, the hackers could potentially gain access to vital personal information, such as a social security numbers.
TIP: To reduce the chances of being hacked or falling victim to identity theft, regularly update anti-virus software for computers and maintain a secure firewall. Also, do not open attachments or click on links in a suspicious email.
In the weeks preceding Halloween, many consumers buy tickets for themed events, such as pumpkin patch mazes, haunted houses or costume parties, online. Scambook has received multiple reports about a number of fraudulent ticket brokers that collect money and send counterfeit tickets. Users who have fallen victim to these schemes show up for the event only to find they are turned away at the door. The seller usually vanishes before consumers know they have been ripped off.
TIP: If you are unable to purchase tickets before the event sold out, be sure never to buy electronic passes or downloadable tickets, as it is easy for a dishonest seller to print and sell multiple copies. Examine the tickets before a payment is made to look for spelling mistakes, wrong dates or paper that feels too thin and flimsy.
Little Shops of Horrors
Bogus costume shops are one of the biggest threats to consumers who want to save money buying their Halloween costume online. Scambook has received numerous reports from members who ordered a costume from a website, but then never received their order. On sites like eBay and Etsy, there are many individual sellers auctioning off non-existent costumes, Halloween memorabilia and materials for making costumes.
TIP: Before buying on eBay and Etsy, take time to check the seller’s feedback rating and read a few customer reviews. For added safety purchasing from an online retailer or an individual on an auction site, check that the URL of the webpage where the order is placed begins with “https”.
Additional Information and Reporting a Claim
For additional information on Halloween scams, access full details on the Scambook blog. For resolving and reporting fraud, submit a complaint on Scambook.com. There is no charge for consumers who want to use Scambook.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $2 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.