Wisc. DATCP: How consumers can avoid holiday shopping scams this year

The Better Business Bureau is warning about a text romance scam.
The Better Business Bureau is warning about a text romance scam.(Source: Jhaymesisviphotography / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 10:08 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Department of Wisconsin Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is encouraging those buying gifts this holiday season to be on the lookout for scams and giving tips to help recognize scams before they happen.

DATCP said the winter months are times of gift receiving and giving so those buying gifts, especially online, should avoid these common scams:

Delivery/shipping notification scams:

According to the DATCP, fake shipping companies may send people texts alerting them that their shipment may be delayed unless the customer gives up private “verification” information. Customers should be wary of any links to downloads. They should also never open these messages or provide any personal information but contact the shipping service’s customer service line with questions instead.

Giveaway scams

People may get texts saying that they’ve won something such as a gift card or money. However, DATCP said, scammers will ask for them to pay a small fee or complete a survey to get data before they can actually get the gift. Never engage with those offering gifts online that have strings attached.

Online marketplace scams

Be wary of those trying to sell items or buy items on social media marketplaces. Officials said scammers may pose by overpaying with fraudulent checks to get money back.

Pet scams

Though pets are common holiday gifts, buyers should be careful when shopping online. DATCP said scammers will post one pet but say it’s sold and offer a more faraway option. To avoid any scams while shopping for a furry friend, ask for the name and location of the pet’s veterinarian.

Ticket scams

Scammers may try to fool consumers into buying sold out tickets on unofficial selling or third-party websites. To avoid this shop solely on verified ticket vendors with clear policies.

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