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Holiday Shopping Scams: Some Things Never Change, But Some Do
First, what matters most. We wish you and your loved ones a safe, health, and happy holidays! Thanksgiving generally marks the start of the holiday season. It’s tradition for many American families to get together with family and friends, stuff ourselves with more food than we thought possible, take a nap, then scour the newspaper (or internet) for great holiday shopping deals.
2020 is different.
This year many of us will be separated from family as COVID-19 continues to ravage what was a “normal” and traditional lifestyle. Sure, we’ll still eat, nap, and shop. We’ll just do it differently this year. Sadly, shopping scams will not be different. What is supposed to be a time for joy, love, and hope should not become a time for worry, fear, or scams.
Don’t let scammers steal ANY of your joy this holiday season!
Scammers are given a prime opportunity to cash in on our busy lives, poor habits, and inadvertent mistakes. It’s not just consumers who fall prey either, it’s the people we do business with too.
How Is Holiday Shopping Different in 2020?
This year is a perfect storm for scammers. Opportunities for the scammers have never been greater and neither has our level of distraction. The math looks a little something like this:
Opportunity + Distraction = Success
Increased opportunity or distraction means more success for scammers. Increase both at the same time, and it’s the best-case scenario for them (worst case scenario for us).
More Opportunity Than Ever (for Scammers)
2019 was a record-breaking year for overall holiday spending ($730 billion), online holiday spending ($135.35 billion), and mobile retail sales ($71.3 billion). The best opportunity for scammers is online transactions because there are more potential victims in a single attack—a better return on their investment.
Online holiday shopping has increased every year since it became a reality, but this year could witness an explosion, especially with the second wave of COVID lockdowns.
eMarketer, a leading market intelligence firm is predicting a 35.8% sales increase to $190.47 billion. https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-holiday-ecommerce-sales-will-surge-35-8-190-47-billion-offsetting-brick-and-mortar-declines
Less Attention Than Ever (from Consumers)
People are distracted. There are thousands (maybe millions) of impactful things going on all around the world seemingly at the same time. From COVID-19, to election controversies, to social justice issues, to online schooling and work from home, etc. It might be safe to say people are more distracted this holiday season than in any holiday season past. Nobody is more responsible for your protection more than you are, though. The equation for protection is a simple one.
Awareness + Habits = Protection
This holiday season we’re not just into protecting our money, we’re also into protecting our safety and joy.