A recent study projects online shopping scams will surge this holiday season as consumers set to spend a record $207 billion online.

According to the study, North Carolina is the No. 17 most at-risk state, having lost $69 million to fraudsters last year, when a record $4.2 billion was stolen nationally.

Fake websites, Instagram giveaways, and Secret Santa contents are the common scams consumer need to avoid right now. Online shopping has also been the No. 1 most common scam reported to the FTC in North Carolina relating to the pandemic, which has led to the scam surge with more people operating online.

Capitalizing on inevitable supply chain delays, scammers pretend to be FedEx and send an email with a link to track your package. When clicked on, these malicious links steal your personal and financial information. They also may text, leave voicemails, or place a “missed delivery” tag on your front door.

How to Avoid: Never click a link or call back a number from an unexpected delivery notice. Always contact the company directly using a verified number or website.


A pyramid scheme called “Secret Sister” is circulating on Facebook. Scammers recruit “sisters” with the promise that if they buy a $10 gift for another member, they will receive 36 gifts in return. A version of this scam includes exchanging bottles of…

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