Today is Oct. 25th, which means that the Christmas countdown has already started for some.
Nowadays, many people are foregoing St. Nicholas’ services by completing their Christmas shopping online.
Instead of going through hours of gift-wrapping, many Canadians scour the online market for deals and pre-wrapped gifts to save them the hassle.
Online scammers realize their opportunity here as well.
The Better Business Bureau is sending out a warning to the public with the Christmas season on the horizon about online shipping scams.
“We always see an increase in emails and calls complaining about online shipping scams in November and December,” said B.C. Better Business Bureau Senior Communications Advisor Evan Kelly. “We typically get two to three emails a week about this issue.”
Although Canada has no such digital platform, the Australian federal government has set up a website that tracks online scams. In 2017, they’ve had almost 5,000 reports of online shopping scams that have cost consumers close to AUD$830,000.
“Just about every shipping company is used fraudulently to get at your personal and financial information,” said Kelly in a press release.
“The scammers send spam with links that could infect your computer, or they try and get you to input credit card information claiming there is an issue with your delivery.”
Kelly notes that many people receive fraudulent emails from Canada Post.
“Canada Post does not email consumers unless it is requested. If there is a delivery and you’re not home they will leave a card in your mailbox or on your door.”
Here are some tips to identify fake shipping invoices.
- Know which company you used to send parcels and to whom.
- Read the email carefully and look for poor grammar and questionable links.
- Be wary of calls to action such as ‘Download invoice now or delivery will be canceled.’
- Make sure any emails are from the actual company such as from @amazon.com NOT, for example, from email@example.com.
- Before you shop read the company terms and conditions for delivery.
- Understand Canada Post does not send unsolicited emails.
- If using Amazon or another service provider, sign into your account and see if the details of your order match the invoice.
- Make sure any websites have ‘https’ in the URL.
- Contact the shipping company directly if you have any concerns.