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Scammers upping the ante as holiday season approaches

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Scam stock photo(KVLY)
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - As the holidays creep closer, scammers are once again targeting shoppers and travelers looking for the best deals on the hottest items which has experts urging you to keep your guard up.

“We’re gonna want a deal. We deserve a deal, we feel like, after the pandemic and we’re going to click on things that take us to nefarious sites,” Bao Vang with the Better Business Bureau said.

The BBB says the average lost in holiday scams is up from last year at $102, and says those 18 to 24-years-old are the most likely to be swindled.

“This age group is spending a lot of time online so they’re more susceptible to innocently clicking on things and going over. They have less income which means they want a bigger bang for their buck, so they’re going to go ahead and try to find those low, low prices and flash sales,” Vang said.

Holiday travel scams are also hitting inboxes, with one in particular raising eyebrows from security experts.

“The language that’s in the email is put together very nicely. There’s very good English and grammar,” Crane Hassold, Abnormal Security Director of Threat Intelligence said.

The new scam looks like it’s coming from TSA and asks you to apply or re-instate your pre-check status for $140; The catch is you can only pay through PayPal.

“Looking at the sophistication level of this attack, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the success rate were pretty high just because a lot of the red flags that we teach people to look out for aren’t there in this scam,” Hassold said.

Both Hassold and Vang say it’s important to do research and read reviews before you hit purchase this holiday season, and always remember, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

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