Some websites offer cigarettes or specialty items at unbelievably low prices…and it’s not hard to figure out why.

Who Is It Targeting: Online shoppers

What Is It: International sales scam

What Are They After: If you’ve ever come across a foreign website that offers an incredible price on cigarettes, liquor, medications, or other specialty items, there’s a reason why. The prices are astonishing, and even the need for a minimum order isn’t too strange. After all, with the cost of international shipping, it only makes sense that they would require customers to make large purchases.

At checkout, things get really strange. The site won’t accept major credit cards or even online payment services like PayPal. Why? Because they only accept wire transfers or prepaid debit cards, both of which happen to be untraceable and non-replaceable forms of payment.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If it’s too good to be true, then…you know the rest.
  • Never make a transaction with someone who limits you to untraceable payment methods.
  • Limit your online shopping to reputable companies with established returns policies.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Better Business Bureau.

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