Welcome to Oregon FBC Tech Tuesday. Build a digital defense to prevent secret gift fraud this week.
We are receiving this type of fraud report from Oregonians through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov). How does it work?
You can find websites or online deals that promise a huge “secret box” full of deals. Sometimes the discount is returned or unsold packages are imported from one of the online retailers.
This deal could cost you $ 20 or $ 30 … or, perhaps, a hundred or more dollars. In return, they believe that your secret box will give you a choice of valuables. TV maybe? Laptop? Some expensive clothes?
If you hit a swindler, your huge deal box could end up being a small box with some foam wraps and cheap pairs of headphones or a selfie stick – if at all possible. Forget the “amazing” gift that the swindler also promised you.
To be fair, there are legitimate sellers who sell subscription boxes with secret items… and some giant online retailers also make one-new-and-cool shopping options the same-shock to us. However, if you invest your money online for such a thing, at least take some steps to protect yourself.
- Do not respond to offers from unwanted articles, emails or social media posts, and do not click on any links.
- Check to see if the site is legitimate. Search for the company name and the words “fraud” and “fraud” online.
- Look for reviews. Reviews can be false if they all use the same words, posted at the same time or use bad grammar and punctuation. Other Warning Signs – The reviewer has a very common name, such as John Smith and / or does not use a profile picture in the review.
If you buy a secret box, remember that you are giving that seller your personal information and credit card number. So, in addition to risking your money on something that could be a bad deal, you may be preparing yourself for identity theft.
If you believe you are a victim of online fraud, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center [www.ic3.gov]Call www.ic3.gov or your local FBI office.