70% of Shoppers Are Vulnerable to Holiday Scams

November 23, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
christmas, x-mas, online shopping concept - woman in santa helper hat with gift box and laptop computer

Two out of three consumers are at risk of getting scammed this holiday season, according to a new survey from AARP.

The survey included seven questions about common holiday shopping scams, and 70% of the participants were unable to answer the questions successfully.

In an effort to help consumers be better prepared for this year’s last-minute shopping season, AARP has put out a webpage with helpful tips about how to avoid holiday scams.

Online shopping was one of the main focuses of the survey, with questions related to fake websites and using pubic Internet connections. Consumers are encouraged to avoid clicking on links in emails and social media sites that may lead to fake websites (known as “phishing sites”). These sites are designed to steal people’s information by looking just like the retail or online payment website.

Another warning related to fake charities. There are a number of false charitable websites and webpages that will crop up around this time of year, encouraging people to make donations under false pretenses. Consumers are encouraged to only donate to charities they are familiar with, through a venue they can trust.

The question missed most on the survey was, “If you receive an e-card from Hallmark or American Greetings, you’ll know it’s safe to download the attachment to pick up your card as long as it comes with a confirmation code.” The answer is false, but 66% of consumers got it wrong.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 23, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.