Stay-at-home orders, social distancing and other efforts to the curb the spread of the coronavirus have made online shopping a necessity in 2020.
Recent data collected by the United States Census Bureau revealed that online purchases have increased by more than 30% since mid-March. As more consumers connect with products virtually, the number of scammers creating fake websites to steal shoppers’ hard-earned money has spiked as well.
A series of investigations performed by Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific uncovered a significant number of online sellers using fraudulent websites to con consumers. Products featured on the fake sites ranged from outdoor sporting goods to furniture.
Scammers advertised exceptional deals for the products listed but ultimately never delivered any of what was ordered to consumers. Examples of the fake websites identified include the following:
Online shoppers allege