#CyberFLASH: I’ll never fall for an online shopping scam ever again

fake-canada-goodseWith Cyber Monday just around the corner, it’s a good time to warn consumers and business people alike of the growing number of online shopping scams.

One of the most popular is the Canada Goose Coat Scam, which caught me flat-faced last year and which I wrote about in Dec. 2013. In short, I thought I’d found a fabulous deal on one of those ads that pops up on Facebook. A Canada Goose Expedition Parka, regularly $700 on sale for $287. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to something called the Winter Parka Outlet. The site had the Canada Goose logo. In fact, the company’s trademarks were all over the site, along with other trademarks and professional photographs of people wearing the iconic coats in cold environments. There was free shipping and no tax presumably because the HST was incorporated in the price. I filled out the online information so the vendor had my residential address for credit card billing purposes and my office address for delivery purposes, just like Apple, Amazon and other online sales companies do. My order was confirmed by e-mail a few moments later in the usual way. But then I received an e-mail later that day that read, in poor English:

“Thanks for order on our website. There are two different addresses in your order. But according to credit card company’s secure policy, it must be same information between your billing address and your parcel’s shipping address. If you really want to ship your order to your shipping address, please e-mail us your scanned files of fronts of your ID card and credit card.”

Now you’re probably wondering why someone from Canada Goose or its dealers would request a scanned copy of my passport and drivers licence. This red flag prompted me to immediately cancel my Visa before the order was processed. Since then, my online shopping always involves doing homework on the vendor, and using a secondary credit card with a low monetary limit.

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