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‘Overstock’ Name Is Hot Holiday Hoax

Posted By Sid Kirchheimer On December 5, 2013 @ 3:30 pm In Scam Alert | Comments Disabled

Among the most common holiday shopping cons [1] is cybersquatting, when scammers steal or slightly alter the name or website address of a well-known company to engage in rip-offs including identity theft, credit card fraud and sale of counterfeit goods.

This holiday season, “Overstock” is certainly not being underutilized by scammers.

The Better Business Bureau warns of a “noticeable trend” of phony websites using the word “overstock” somewhere in their domain name, “hoping to fool consumers into thinking they are shopping with Overstock.com.”

A screen shot of the popular website: Overstock.com [2]

A screen shot of the popular website: Overstock.com

Because of its popularity - and respected reputation (with an A rating from BBB) - “it’s no wonder scammers try to mimic them,” says Carrie A. Hurt of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

>> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter [3]

So if the real Overstock.com [4] is where you want to shop, understand this: “If the name is longer, or uses any additional words, or letters, if it has any words other than ‘overstock’ before the dot-com, it’s not our website,” says company official Jonathan Johnson.

However, understand that other legitimate websites may have “overstock” somewhere in a web address - usually at the very end (after the .com) to indicate a specific page where overstocked items are being sold. Expect something like this: www.samplecompany.com/overstocks [5].

Overstock name games aside, here are your safest bets for any online shopping:

  • Type the site’s address yourself, rather than clicking on links found through keyword searches. Be especially wary of links offered by strangers in emails or on social media sites.
  • Pay with a credit card, which offers you more protections than a debit card.
  • Never provide your credit card or other sensitive information on any page whose address doesn’t begin with “https://” rather than “http://”.  But even with an “https://”, avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots for online shopping or other financial transactions.
  • For a quick (but not foolproof) legitimacy check, visit the website’s “Contact Us” page to see if there’s a phone number and a physical address.  (Avoid any site that is missing both; be wary if it’s missing either). Bogus websites are more likely to rely on fax numbers or post office boxes.

>> Get discounts on financial products and services with your AARP Member Advantages. [6]


Also of Interest


See the AARP home page [11] for deals, savings tips, trivia and more


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/12/05/overstock-name-is-hot-holiday-hoax/

URLs in this post:

[1] holiday shopping cons: http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-11-2013/avoid-holiday-shopping-scams.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[2] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Capture.jpg

[3] >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=29636&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-MONY

[4] Overstock.com: http://www.overstock.com

[5] www.samplecompany.com/overstocks: http://www.samplecompany.com/overstocks

[6] >> Get discounts on financial products and services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://www.aarpfinancial.com/content/aarpfinancial/home.html?intcmp=AE-BL-MON-DISC

[7] What’s Hot? Cold Weather Scams: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/14/whats-hot-cold-weather-scams/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[8] 10 Drugs That May Cause Memory Loss: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-05-2013/drugs-that-may-cause-memory-loss.html?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[9] Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Get your answers here.: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV

[10] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?keycode=U9ZTPH9&intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[11] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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