As we all settle into our digital lives, the internet has become not only our workplace but also where we learn, shop and socialize.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that cybercriminals are seizing on the moment. Indeed, it has reached a point where very few people can say they haven’t been targeted in some way or another. The Federal Trade Commission reported that imposter scams and fraud related to online shopping cost U.S. consumers about $1.4 billion in 2020, and indications are that fraud activity hasn’t abated much this year, either.
“It’s really unprecedented right now,” Todd Raque, financial crimes compliance and anti-money laundering executive at Featurespace, told PYMNTS in an interview. “As we come out of the pandemic, scams are on the rise, and I think that will continue.”
Same Scams, Different Mediums
Scammers are up to their old tricks, Raque said. Phishing remains as prevalent as ever and can always find reliable targets.
But he said the rise in online shopping means consumers also run the very real risk of inadvertently buying counterfeit goods. He knows only too well because he recently fell victim to such a scam himself. Having just moved to Florida, Raque said he was searching online to buy sunglasses when he came across what looked like a great deal for a pair of Maui Jim shades.
“I ordered a pair for my wife and I, and it turned out to be a fraudulent website where it was one letter off when I got billed,” he said.