As Halloween approaches, Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advisory platform, has identified three schemes to watch out for this October. Safety is a crucial around all holidays and Scambook is alerting the public to watch out for Halloween costume stores that don’t deliver, Halloween-themed phishing attacks, and scalpers selling fake tickets for haunted house tours and theme park events such as Six Flags Fright Fest. Scambook wants consumers to be aware of these top three trending Halloween scams:
1. Retail Tales of Terror: I Paid for My Costume, Where Is It?
There are many bogus costume shops, which is one of the biggest threats to consumers during the Halloween season. Scambook has received various complaints from consumers who ordered a costume from a website and never received it, despite being charged. Customers have also received the wrong sizes or costumes in poor condition. In the worst cases a fraudster also has their credit card number.
On Internet marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, consumers may encounter fraudulent individual sellers auctioning off costumes, Halloween memorabilia and raw materials for costume-making. As with any online store, these individuals might take customers’ money, never send the item, or send a counterfeit prop with a forged certificate of authenticity.
2. The Email Is Coming from Inside the House: Don’t Get Halloween Hacked
Hackers and cybercriminals use the holiday to target victims with Halloween-themed phishing attacks. In the past, victims have been tricked into visiting a malicious website that downloads a Trojan virus onto their computer when scammers use a technique known as Blackhat SEO to place their website near the top of the Google search listings for “Halloween skeleton templates” or other themed search terms.
Cybercriminals also launch phishing attacks via email and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, sending fake Halloween e-cards and links to bogus games or phony video clips. When clicked on, the computer becomes corrupted and the hackers can gain access to vital personal information stored on the hard drive, such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers. They may also hijack accounts and use the victim's email or Facebook to spread the scheme.
3. No Admission to the Carnival of Souls: Avoid Buying Fake Event Tickets
With any popular ticketed Halloween event such as Six Flags Fright Fest, there will always be tickets sold on secondary markets like Craigslist and Stubhub. There are a number of individuals who purchase tickets for popular events just to resell them at an inflated price. Unfortunately, buying from one of these ticket scalpers can be risky because there’s no guarantee you’ll receive a real ticket.