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Scammers move online as more consumers shop online to avoid COVID-19

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 6:13 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The National Retail Federation expects online sales to increase between 20 and 30 percent this year, about $168.7 billion more than last year.

But, as more consumers are expected to shop online this Black Friday to avoid COVID-19, scammers are also moving online.

Amy Nofziger, who is the Director of Victim Support for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, said possible red flags for scams include spelling errors on websites along with bargain basement prices.

“You know it’s for sale for $500, but you see it advertised for $200, that’s a huge red flag,” she said. “The item could be a counterfeit or it might not even be real and steal your information.”

Nofziger said websites asking for non-traditional payment like Venmo or cash app should raise concerns as well.

“If you send money that way, it’s virtually untraceable,” she said. “So if you see anybody asking you to send money that way, again, huge red flags.”

She said anybody could get scammed, but scammers will target more older Americans.

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