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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here — and consumers shopping for the winter holidays should be on the lookout for online scams.
U.S. sales online are expected to hit $207 billion this holiday shopping season, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, according to Adobe. That’s a record and a 10% jump over 2020, a year in which the Covid pandemic pushed more consumers to shop digitally.
Cyber weekend — the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday — will draw about 17% of all sales this holiday season, Adobe estimates.
Seventy-five percent of American adults anticipate their e-commerce through big retailers like Amazon or Walmart will be similar to or increase relative to the 2020 holiday season, according to a recent AARP survey.
Criminals will likely try to take advantage of the volume — and of unwary consumers.
Online shopping accounted for about 58,000 Covid-related consumer fraud reports from January 2020 to Oct. 18 this year, more than any other category of fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers lost a total $48 million.
“We are entering a sensitive holiday and tax period, and we urge people to protect their personal information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said Friday in an alert, which warned of potential identity thieves using that data to file fraudulent tax returns.
Here are three common scams to watch for around this time of year.
Fake retailers using bogus websites may lure…