February 8, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO — Tis the season of giving, but the FBI has issued a warning to be on alert for scams from those who want to rob you of your holiday joy.

Officials at the FBI’s San Francisco office said online shoppers should be on extra alert.

“The FBI anticipates increased fraud schemes designed to steal consumers’ money and personal information this year,” officials said in a news release. “Criminals are increasingly creative in their efforts during the holiday season and will aggressively try various ways to prey on unsuspecting shoppers.”

Federal agents said the two most prevalent holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes.

 A non-delivery scam is where a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received.

Meanwhile, a non-payment scam involves goods or services that are shipped or provided, but the seller never receives payment.

Within the 15 counties covered by the FBI’s San Francisco office, over 2,100 complaints were reported with a combined loss of more than $8 million in non-payment or nondelivery scams last year.

Santa Clara County had the highest dollar amount losses and number of complaints by victims of this scam, followed by Alameda County.

 So far this year, agents say, Alameda County’s dollar amount loss of nearly $2 million has already exceeded the previous year’s total losses. 

The FBI also anticipates a higher loss in funds with investment scams this year, primarily due to the…

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