For scammers is also a golden time opportunity to target victims and steal their money.
How the fraud works:
The scammers register and publish fraudulent websites, some specially created for this season, others used to defraud victims all year long. They heavily promote their fake sites on social media - Facebook, Instagram, Reddit etc., promising bargain prices for expensive items or offering vouchers and gift certificates for buying those products cheaper.
In some cases, the domains abuse names of known brands. In other cases, the fake websites show content similar to real known brands, while having no connection with those brands.
Any victim searching for the fake store online will find pages after pages of products highly rated:
The content on the fake websites is almost the same:
We offer a huge selection of gear from top quality brands, all in one convenient place. We are passionate about our goal of bringing our fans across the globe access to their favorite gear. We pride ourselves on not only carrying a large selection of officially licensed products from the top brands, but also industry leading customer service, shipping and return policies.
The victim is lured to the fake store website to buy the product. To do it, the victim needs to register as a user, providing his name location, email address and phone number.
The ordering procedure ends with the victim asked to give the credit card details:
Each fake site has also a detailed explanation about how the payment must be done:
Since personalized goods (e.g. Personalized clothing and accessories) cannot be refunded, you must pay for them in advance.
Secure digital payment
Payment using your credit or debit card is completely secure. We don’t handle any credit card numbers. Payment is handled by our partner using secure means of authentication and the strictest banking procedures.
Credit card details are sent directly to the bank and cannot be read or accessed by anyone other than the user’s bank.There is no extra cost when paying by credit card.
What are "MasterCard Securecode", "Verified by Visa" and American Express "Safekey"?
MasterCard SecureCode , Verified by Visa and American Express SafeKey are services that offer added protection when making online purchases with debit cards (not just on our site!).
They enable you to create a password - known only to you - that you insert each time you use your debit card online for improved security of your transaction. Sign up for the service at your credit card website and follow the on-screen instructions when you place an order on our site.
Alternatively, you can contact the bank that provided you with the card. You will be asked to create a password. You only have to do this once: you will be asked for the password when you make an online payment using the card.
What happens next is that the product never arrives. The scammer will charge the credit card with a higher amount as the alleged value of the product. Next step - the scammer uses the credit card to buy goods online without the credit card owner permission or knowledge.
The best option, if you fall for this, is to contact your bank and report the fraud. Ask for a refund and change your credit card to avoid losing more money.