Calgary

'Tis the season to scam online shoppers, Better Business Bureau warns

Pretending to be legitimate retailers, fraudsters are using Cyber Monday and the upcoming holiday shopping season to steal your money and identity.

Cyber Monday rampant with online scammers offering fake deals

The Better Business Bureau in Alberta says scammers also impersonate charities you may have donated to in the past. (Shutterstock)

Pretending to be legitimate retailers, fraudsters are using Cyber Monday and the upcoming holiday shopping season to steal your money and identity.

Alberta's Better Business Bureau says scammers are sending out online deals by email and text that link to fake websites.

"Because it's really easy to make a website look slick and it's really easy to do that quickly and efficiently and scam you know, 1,000 people and then disconnect that website and get away with your money," Ron Mycholuk with Alberta's Better Business Bureau told the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday. 

Mycholuk said online shoppers who visit these fake retail websites also risk having intrusive software and viruses installed on their computer.

"Then they can commit identity theft and you can be out thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time trying to fix your life," he said.

Ron Mycholuk with the Alberta Better Business Bureau, says you should be wary of emails and texts offering online deals from retailers. (CBC)

Bottom line? Don't click on the link

Mycholuk said if a promo arrives in your inbox and you really want the deal, it's best to buy the sale merchandise directly from the retailer.

"Even when they have those flyer code offers, they still usually print them on the top banners or the left rails," he said.

Bottom line? Don't click on the link but rather open a new window and manually type the retailer's website into the browser.

Mycholuk said this is also the time of year that scammers pose as charities, because people are "in the giving mood." 

He said to be leery of emails from charities that you have donated to in the past, as those are the ones that the fraudsters often impersonate.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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