IRS Warns Shoppers Of Popular Scams During Holiday Season

Online Shopping Scam
Photo credit Poike/Getty Images
By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — As the holiday shopping season amps up, the IRS and other consumer protection groups are teaming up to warn people of potential scams.

Lorelei Salas, head of Consumer Protection for New York City, says when emails flood your inbox flashing “2 for 1,” “3 for 1,” “Best Deal Ever” or “Just Click” – it’s very possible it’s a scam.

Her best advice for consumers is “don’t click.”

“In some cases, it's that you may be going to a fake website and spending money for nothing,” Salas explains.

Worse, clicking the link may lead to your computer becoming infected with a virus.

Other cheats include phone calls in which scammers call for wire transfers or money orders to be sent for an urgent reason.

“That's always what people rely on. They give a high pressure sales pitch to: ‘you gotta do this right now,’ but if you take a few minutes, it can be worth millions,” says Walter Brewster at the Better Business Bureau.

By one account, fraud costs Americans $3 billion each year.