Fake websites and apps will be biggest online rip-offs during holiday shopping season

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 19:55:13-05

The website looked legit. Jamie Schmalenberger told us the look-a-like Michael Kors link arrived via text.

This shopper assumed she would hit a sale and purchased three purses for $154. But it was not until after she hit the order button did Schmalenberger realized she had been taken advantage of.

Consumers reported 41,000 rip-offs to the Better Business Bureau's scam tracker in the last year.

Look-a-like websites and apps rank as the biggest online thieves this time of year.

We discovered the fake Michael Kors website was just created this year in China.

The BBB recommend the following steps to protect your wallet.

  • Vet any shopping apps by visiting a retailer's website.
  • Look out for misspellings and other typos.
  • Read the reviews.
  • Never click on a link in any email or pop up ad to download a new app.

Consumers who fall for fake apps and websites face another threat.

Scammers may use your personal information and credit card number to steal your identity and run up unauthorized charges.