FCC & FTC Holiday Scams Webinar
Monday December 19 the FCC and FTC are hosting Safe for the Holidays: Webinar to Avoid Holiday Fraud and Scams. Watch at 1 p.m. at fcc.gov/live.
FCC Consumer Tips and Resources
Habits of holiday shoppers have changed over the years, with traditional outings to the local mall giving way to shopping online. The yuletide cheer may be dampened though, as scammers see opportunity in the growth of online shopping and seasonal scamming.
Online shoppers are also being targeted by phony package delivery call and texts.
And be aware that robotext scam texts are on the rise.
Visit the FCC's Consumer Help Center to keep up with the latest information on scams, and check out these helpful resources:
- Consumer Guides: Spoofing | Robocalls & Texts
- Spoofing Video: Don't Hang On, Hang Up!
- Call Blocking Resources
- File a Consumer Complaint
The number of Americans choosing the comfort and safety of online shopping has grown significantly over recent years. Fraudsters have also identified online retail as a growth opportunity for scams designed to catch careless shoppers off guard.
An AARP survey suggests that consumers may have a lot to learn about safe online shopping. Among the survey's key findings (PDF): 27 percent of U.S. adults are not concerned about the safety of their personal and financial information when shopping online; and 74 percent of consumers plan on using debit cards, whereas AARP advises that credit cards and digital wallets "are better choices to avoid fraud loss."
Keep in mind that some digital wallets include peer-to-peer – or P2P – payment options. Most P2P payment products expressly warn consumers to avoid using P2P payments for purchasing goods or services. Unlike traditional banks and credit cards, payment app services often lack the same fraud protections, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).
During a webinar hosted by the FCC, consumer experts from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlighted resources and tips to protect consumers shopping online or using mobile devices to make purchases, particularly during the holiday season. The BBB encourages consumers to use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods, and suggests consumers be cautious when paying by digital wallet/P2P apps, prepaid money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods. Check the BBB's website for more guidance on shopping online safely, including tips from major online platforms.
The CFPB offers a range of guidance on charitable giving, online shopping, financial advice, and resources for avoiding COVID scams.