How to stay safe when holiday shopping

With the increase in e-commerce, comes an increase in thieves and hackers trying to scam people out of their money.

MADISON, Wis. — With the pandemic, many local in-person events, such as popup holiday markets or craft fairs, have moved online.

Scammers are creating phony copycat events that charge for admission and steal your credit card information. The Better Business Bureau Madison says these types of event scams happen more often than you think.

They say the event, which has been free in the past, is now requiring a paid ticket. You enter your credit card number and personal information, such as full name and address. Unfortunately, the “ticket” is a scam! the event information you found was posted by scammers and not affiliated with the real holiday market. Con artists are creating fake event pages, social posts, and emails to confuse attendees into sharing their credit card information.

“Scammers are taking advantage of those types of events that are moving online. So they used to be free, they still are free, but scammers are creating fake social media posts and events to trick consumers into purchasing a ticket, and that ticket isn’t real,” says Tiffany Bernhardt Schultz.

Some tips to avoid other event scams are to keep your receipts, and know the return policy, before making a purchase, ask the vendor what their return policy is so you will not run into issues after the holidays.

“COVID is a scammer’s paradise. Scammers follow the news and they’re always trying to be one step ahead of the consumer. So do your research, don’t be so happy to click on something,” said Schultz.

In-store shoppers should leave social security cards and other non-essential information at home, lock presents away in the trunk, and watch for skimming devices. These preventative measures can keep you and your information safe.

If you’ve been targeted by scams, help others by filing a scam report.