Every holiday season, the big toy companies let out new games and action figures, with a limited amount available to create a hype and pressure on parents to be those who were able to achieve the items.
Scammers know parents don't want to let their kids down and use the toy's popularity to trick parents into spending their money on fake or non-existing items.
How the Toy Scam Works
Once the toys are sold out, parents become anxious and start looking in all the shops, hoping to find one left. Along with looking in the physical stores, the toy searchers turn to online stores, and scammers are on the other side, are waiting with the bait.
The parents who are looking for a glimpse of hope come across ads and sites that not only have the toys in stock, have discounted prices, last-minute deals, and other messages that create a sense of urgency.
Unfortunately, behind these sites and ads are mostly scammers. And those who end up falling for the scams, are left waiting in anticipation for the toy which never arrived, leaving frustrated parents and disappointed kids.
When going back to the site to check on the delivery, or trying to contact the website, the victims discover blank pages, general messages such as "site under construction" or "all orders are being delayed", and no answers about the order.
How to Avoid The Holiday Toy Scam:
- Purchase only from well-known shops and websites that you know and trust. Keep in mind that there ate phishing sites that could replicate a known company site but is a fraud.
- Browse with protection: The best way to avoid phishing sites is using browser protection like Guardio that will alert you about suspicious sites before you enter.
- Don't be deceived by extremely low prices, which are most likely scam bait trying to lure you in. When the offer is too good to be true, it usually really isn't true.
Holiday shopping without being careful could end you up with no gifts and without any holiday spirit. Always keep your eyes open and be as cautious as you can when it comes to giving your details online.