Holiday shopping season fraud stats revealed

There’s a 1% decrease in suspected online retail fraud worldwide during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season compared to the same period in 2019, a 59% increase from the same period in 2018 and a 14% increase from all of 2020 so far, TransUnion research reveals.

shopping season fraud stats

Holiday shopping season fraud stats

The findings are based on the same-store sales analysis of e-commerce customers during the traditional start of the global holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

These findings mirror the recent conclusions in the report that found 50% of U.S. consumers are concerned with being victimized by fraudsters this holiday season. The concern is relatively uniform across generations, though Gen X are the most worried about being victimized at 53%.

Heading into the holiday shopping season, the study conducted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, 2020 found 37% of 9,515 consumers surveyed globally said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19, a 28% increase from the same survey the week of April 13, 2020.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the move from offline to online transactions, detecting digital fraud attempts has become paramount for e-commerce providers,” said Shai Cohen, Sr. VP of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion.

“In order to avoid cart abandonment with all of these new sales opportunities, it is equally if not more important to ensure consumers are able to make friction-right digital transactions.”

Shopping fraud trends from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30

The percent of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the holiday shopping season and entire year since 2018:

  • 15.54% from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, 2020. 13.67% so far in 2020.
  • 15.70% from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2019. 9.80% all of 2019.
  • 9.76% from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, 2018. 11.12% all of 2018.

The days with the highest percent of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season:

  • Cyber Monday, Nov. 30: 26.03%
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: 12.39%
  • Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: 12.29%
  • Black Friday, Nov. 27: 12.02%
  • Sunday, Nov. 29: 11.68%

The global countries/regions and U.S. cities where the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions originated from during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season:

Country/region

  • Puerto Rico: 44.4%
  • Greece: 30.9%
  • Hong Kong: 28.3%

U.S. city

  • San Francisco: 9.8%
  • Pittsburgh: 9.7%
  • Los Angeles: 9.6%

Mobile transaction and fraud trends

Also, consumers used a mobile phone or tablet for 58% of their online retail transactions during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season. That is slightly down from 62% for the same period in 2019 and up from 55% for the same period in 2018.

For the holiday shopping weekend, retail transactions from a mobile phone compared to all e-commerce transactions were:

  • 62.84% on Saturday, Nov. 28
  • 62.68% on Sunday, Nov. 29
  • 60.09% on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26
  • 57.90% on Black Friday, Nov. 27
  • 50.37% on Cyber Monday, Nov. 30

“Customizing a transaction to the type of device a consumer is using contributes immensely to providing a smooth customer

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Where to shop for Christmas gifts and more this holiday season

After a tumultuous year, the holiday season is finally upon us.

Whether you’re buying for a child, spouse or best friend, we’ve created a list of locally made items and places to visit. Check it out.

Clothing and Jewelry

Bittersweet Ivy Boutique sells woman’s clothing, jewelry, shoes and more ranging from $6 to $119. Receive 10% off your first online order and free shipping on purchases of $40 or more. 6990 Main St., 469-475-8001, bittersweetivy.com.

Blue Door Boutique sells jewelry, home décor, candles, furniture, wall art, special-ordered tennis racquets, tennis accessories and more. Lake Tennis Academy, 4000 Legacy Drive, 214-705-7701, laketennis.com/bluedoorboutique.

Dancing Starfish Designs sells handmade leather earrings, customer design earrings, spirit wear earrings and more. DancingStarfishDesigns.com.

Tumbleweed Texstyles sells Texas-based items, including clothing, hats, drinkware and more. The website has a “soon-to-retire” section with various sale items, ranging from $14 to $20. 7511 Main St., Suite A120, tumbleweedtexstyles.com.

Spirit Sprinkles is an online woman’s spirit wear store. The store is currently offering 12 Days of Christmas deals with a different deal each day and free shipping on purchases of $49 or more. spiritsprinkles.com.

Cookie Society of Frisco is owned by Jeff and Marissa Allen.

Food and drink

Cookie Society’s holiday gift crate was featured on Oprah’s list of favorite things in 2020. The crate comes with a dozen cookies for $55. 9320 Dallas Parkway, Suite 160, 214-618-0651, cookiesociety.com.

Huckle Bee Farms of Celina offers raw unfiltered honey infused with various fruits and vegetables. 724-747-7855, hucklebeefarm.com.

Poparella’s Gourmet Popcorn & Treats sells more than 60 flavors of popcorn, candies, fudge and candied nuts. A regular three-cup bag of popcorn ranges from $3.09 to $8.59, depending on the flavor. The large Holiday Wood Panel Wagon can contain up to three flavors of popcorn for $12.69. 8873 Coleman Blvd., 214-705-9666, poparellas.com.

Game Day Style founder Brittany Cobb models a jacket for a photo at her shop across from The Star in Frisco.

Home goods

Heart’s Desire is a widely stocked gift shop with clothing and jewelry, Yeti cups, stationery, home décor, soaps, candles, seasonal decorations and more. 4760 Preston Road, Suite 200, 972-335-1800, heartsdesiregifts.com.

The Sample House and Candle House has thousands of scented candles, home décor items, pet accessories and more. 3231 Preston Road, Suite 6, 972-668-6208, samplehouse.com.

Storied Roots sells furniture, statuary and home décor made of natural rattan, wood and stone. 7227 Main St., 400, 972-266-2479, storiedroots.com.

The newest Tiff's Treats is located at 1070 South Preston Road in Prosper.

The Community Grill is a casual dining restaurant with various dishes. 2525 Main St., Suite 400, 214-494-4548.

Didi’s Downtown serves a range of food, including the grilled Atlantic salmon salad and chicken noodle soup. 7210 Main St., 469-888-4020.

Eight11 is a locally owned wine bar with a food menu of shareables, soups and salads, artisan pizzas and more. 7080 Main St., 469-888-4037.

J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar is the former Bonnie Ruth’s. It serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch dishes — and has dozens of martinis on its bar menu. Next door is a secret speakeasy, owned by the same couple. 6959 Lebanon Road, Suite 110, 214-705-7775.

At Luminova Holidays, a new festival at Globe Life Field in Arlington, visitors can skate on a 10,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink.

Experiences

KidZania is an indoor city for kids with real-life experiences. Tickets are free

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How to gift stock market wealth to loved ones during the holiday season

This holiday season give the gift that can keep on creating wealth: stocks. Along with appreciating value, the gift of a stock will also serve as a valuable learning experience for any investor.



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But you can’t order a stock off Amazon, nor will Santa be sliding down the chimney with blue-chip stock certificates. If you want to gift stock to loved one, there are several options, as well as a few important points to keep in mind.

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Among the most convenient ways to gift a stock, according to James Royal, author of The Zen of Thrift Conversions and a Bankrate analyst, is via a gift card. “Stockpile allows you to buy a gift card for a stock and then the recipient redeems the gift card for ownership.”

With a Stockpile gift card or e-gift card you can give between $1 and $2,000 to buy shares, or fractional shares, of a stock. Your recipient can then redeem the gift card and create an account with Stockpile.

Stockpile also offers custodial accounts, which allows guardians to monitor minors’ investments.

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You can also give stock via brokerage accounts. Royal recommends using brokerage accounts for anyone that wants to set up recurring fund transfers.

If the recipient has the same brokerage firm as the sender, the process is as simple as transferring shares electronically. However, if the recipient is outside of the sender’s brokerage firm, Royal says it will take more time to get the gift set up. “You’ll need information like their Social Security number, account number, and name. Obviously, this is all very sensitive information and needs to be handled with care. You can’t surprise someone with this sort of gift,” he said.

It should be noted that the recipients will pay a capital gains tax when they sell their gifted stock. The severity of the tax will depend on how long the individual holds onto the stock. If they sell within a year of receiving the stock, they will be subject to short-term capital gains, which are higher than long-term capital gains — investments held for over one year.

For anyone wishing to give over $15,000, you will incur a gift tax. If you are looking to transfer a substantial amount, you might want to consider a trust. A trust will allow you to postpone the recipient’s access and ensure that the money will be used for its intended purpose.

If you wish to give investment wealth to a child, Royal suggests a 529 savings plan. “With a 529 anyone can contribute. They’ll be investing in that child’s education.”

529 plans allow parents to save after-tax dollars for education expenses. The savings grow tax-free as long as they are ultimately used for qualified education expenses.

Savings bonds are another

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Fakespot on Mission to Protect Consumers During Historic Online Shopping Season on Cheddar

This year’s Cyber Monday was historic. With holiday shoppers spending close to $11 billion, the U.S. set a record for its largest internet shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data. But how do these shoppers know what they’re purchasing is the real deal? Enter Fakespot, a platform that just raised $4 million dollars to help consumers protect themselves from e-commerce scams in real-time on leading online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify sites.  

“There’s not many people in the corner that are protecting consumers from e-commerce scams. They’re everywhere,” said Saoud Khalifah, co-founder and CEO of Fakespot. “We’re really excited to protect the consumers from these scams.”

The startup’s mission is to bring trust and transparency to the Internet, starting with e-commerce. Fakespot is doing this by utilizing proprietary AI and machine learning to analyze critical data points including reviews, third-party sellers, and reputation data. Khalifah adds, “We’ve amassed over eight billion reviews. Just to give you a comparison, Tripadvisor has over 800 million reviews. So we utilize this huge dataset for our supervised training, for our artificial intelligence, and it makes us better and [puts] us 10 steps ahead of all the fraudsters.” 

Consumers can install Fakespot through a Google Chrome extension. Then, in real-time, online shoppers will be notified whether the reviews they are reading are real or fake. “If you’re browsing Amazon.com, we will, in real-time, show grades from an A to an F, meaning you can trust the reviews that you’re reading, or you can move to the next product if the grade is an F,” according to Khalifah. “We also detect fake sellers and counterfeits, and many other issues that are now plaguing e-commerce.”

One e-commerce giant that Fakespot is ready to deploy its newest technology on is Shopify. “We will be detecting fake stores, hack stores, [and] stores that will siphon off your private information, which is a [bigger] problem than most people know … we’re looking to encapsulate the whole e-commerce market with our protective services,” he said.

As online shopping continues to become more and more popular with shoppers, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Fakespot is taking pride in its new and innovative platform. “We’re one of the first pioneers in this space for consumer technology and the protection of people on fraud. There’s not many companies in this space,” Khalifah says. “This industry’s very nascent and we have a lot of potential here. And the market is just growing.”

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A homemade coffee liqueur to make and gift this season

This year, a homemade holiday gift might be even more welcome than usual, and you may have a bit more time to make it a reality. Look no further. We’ve got a special boozy drink you can make yourself, package up, and gift to a coffee lover in your life.

Bob Fish, CEO of Biggby Coffee, showed us how to make a delicious coffee liqueur from scratch. He’s planning on giving bottles of this potent elixir to family and friends this year, personally packaged up with a bag of fresh coffee.

Fish spent a lot of time developing this recipe, getting all the ingredients just right, in order to have it properly duplicate – and possibly better – the popular liqueur Kahlúa. You can also find something similar, and a bit cheaper, at the store called Kamora. Fish made batch after batch of this, figuring out not just the right ingredients, but also the timing and ratios to create the perfect batch of booze.

He started with the best Biggby coffee for the job. While the Biggby Best blend made a very tasty batch, Fish found that the Living Hope blend was even better. The coffee is “roasted a little bit darker than the Biggby Best,” Fish explained. “While the Biggby Best is a little floral, and a little citrusy, and that’s not bad. But the Living Hope is a little more earthy in its application, more berry-like. And when all these ingredients get married together, this one just does a little bit of a better job.”

In addition to working perfectly in this recipe, the Living Hope coffee is purchased by Biggby directly from the farmers who grow it in Zambia. The farm grows the coffee to support their mission to provide shelter, food, education and hope to orphaned children in Zambia. Since Biggby has started supporting their efforts, the organization has added 70 new beds to their orphanage.

The recipe calls for two different parts, which then get married together to create the final product. There is a coffee simple syrup, and an infused rum to make, both simple to do, but time is needed in order to achieve the full flavor this liqueur deserves. Fish recommends using classic canning jars with lids to hold the two liquids while they age, and then transferring the final product into a decorative bottle for gifting.

Start off by making the infused rum by adding a rather incredible variety of ingredients to steep and stew over the course of a few days. All of the ingredients for the rum are “very complimentary to coffee,” Fish explained. Then, make the coffee simple syrup, which Fish has down to a science. His technique of wetting the coffee grounds first, and then adding them to the simple syrup to infuse ensures that the coffee doesn’t suffer from over extraction, which can create an unwelcome bitterness. Be sure to filter the coffee syrup twice, with the second time sending it through something like cheesecloth or

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16 Vintage Fashion Gifts To Give This Holiday Season

One of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to shop sustainably for the holidays is to filter your search to items that already exist (read: secondhand or vintage gifts). Therefore, there’s no new production taking place. Not to mention, your gift will be entirely unique. 

If you’re not sold on the idea, thinking that your fashion gifts will look outdated, remember how cyclical trends are. Fashion from the ‘80s and ‘90s are just as popular now as they were 40 years ago. Think tiny shoulder bags, leather blazers, high-waisted jeans, and square-toe boots. Rather than buying remakes of these retro items, with vintage, you can buy the real thing — probably for a quarter of the price — and keep your contribution to climate change to a minimum this holiday season. 

Ahead, shop through our guide to vintage and secondhand gifts, all of which will have your loved ones on high during the holidays.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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CouponForLess.com Eases Holiday Season Shopping With New Coupon Codes – Press Release

CouponForLess.com Eases Holiday Season Shopping With New Coupon Codes

Online platform for free coupons and shopping deals, CouponForLess.com, announces the addition of new codes for the week to ease the shopping stress as the Holidays near

CouponForLess.com has stayed true to their goal of helping shoppers get the best possible experience as the website recently added more than 9,000 free coupon codes and discount codes to their database. The move is particularly timely considering the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on families’ purchasing power, with the addition they can help as many people as possible to enjoy the holidays without having to break the bank.

Shopping remains one of the most enjoyable activities. However, it can be particularly challenging for shoppers to purchase their favorite supplies when running on a limited budget. The ravaging COVID-19 crisis has not helped the situation, with the lockdown and near-collapse of some business activities further exacerbating the issue. However, the likes of CouponForLess.com are looking to help families end the note on a high by providing them with fantastic online shopping deals, coupon codes, and discounts to help them get their favorite items at relatively affordable rates.

The recent addition of more than 9,000 free coupon codes is a further reiteration of the platform’s commitment to enhancing online shopping for as many individuals as possible. The coupons are available for tons of online stores, including eBay, Kohl’s, Sephora, Amazon, Best Buy, Expedia, The Home Depot, HSN, Walmart and a host of others. The coupons and deals cover different categories of products, such as apparel and accessories, electronics, home and garden, beauty and personal care, travel, software, and games.

The user-friendliness of the platform, with its easy-to-navigate interface and the comprehensiveness of the shopping solutions offered, have made CouponForLess.com the ideal online shopping partner for thousands of buyers.

For more information about CouponForLess.com and the range of shopping deals available on the website, please visit https://couponforless.com/about-us. CouponForLess.com can also be found across several social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

About CouponForLess.com

CouponForLess.com is an online shopping solution website designed to provide shoppers with great deals, coupons, discount codes and offers from thousands of brands and online stores. The goal of the platform is to ensure that smart shoppers do not pay full price on good deals while saving them the time-consuming and stressful process of hunting for discounts.

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Gorham’s Holmes starts college season in perfect fashion

Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes made all 13 of her shot attempts in a season-opening win over Eastern Kentucky last week for a career-high 26 points. Holmes also had eight rebounds, seven blocked shots and two steals in just 21 minutes. Missy Minear photo/Indiana University athletics

As a freshman last year at Indiana University, Mackenzie Holmes set a school record by hitting 63.4 percent of her shots for the women’s basketball team.

She apparently wants to break that record again.

Mackenzie Holmes

Holmes, the former Gorham High star, made all 13 of her shot attempts in Indiana’s season-opening 100-51 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 25. The 6-foot-3 forward finished with a career-high 26 points in her third career start. She also had eight rebounds, seven blocked shots and two steals.

It was a command performance that may just be a preview of what’s to come.

Holmes spent the offseason working on her skills and remaking her body – she’s lost about 20 pounds since the start of her freshman year – to the point where she can now take a larger role for the 13th-ranked Hoosiers.

Indiana Coach Teri Moren is certainly high on Holmes, especially her work ethic.

“Mac has always been about the extra and that’s one of the things that we appreciate about her,” she said. “She’s going to continue to get better and you’re going to see her game grow into being one of the best, if not the best, low block post players in the Big Ten.”

Holmes takes such accolades in stride. She’s just happy to be playing, especially during a coronavirus pandemic that has made everything more challenging.

“We know every day together as team, especially in these times, is a great day,” she said in a Zoom conference with reporters on Wednesday. “When we played last Wednesday, we all had a lot of fun being on the court together.”

Holmes has always had talent – she was the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Gorham and last year was named to the Big Ten all-freshman team after averaging 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds – and a strong work ethic. And while at home in Maine during the spring, she decided to change her body.

“I feel like I had so much time in quarantine to think about everything and reflect over the past year and I decided it was something I needed to do for myself,” she said. “It wasn’t something that was super difficult … I watched what I was eating, put the right things in my body, and was working out. I gradually just lost weight.”

When she returned to Bloomington, Indiana, to resume classes and practices, Holmes contacted the team’s strength coach (Kevin Konopasek) and nutritionist (Isaac Hicks) and set up a plan to continue becoming more fit. Konapasek gave her exercises designed to help her basketball skills; Hicks set up a meal plan.

Holmes no longer eats processed foods and limits her intake of pasta

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Gift local gift cards this holiday season

The pandemic has taught us a lot of things, including the importance of supporting local businesses, many of which continue to struggle.

Shopping small and local isn’t just a perfunctory pledge.  If we don’t give a boost to these area institutions, they may not be around much longer.

Purchasing gift cards to area shops, boutiques, restaurants and service providers is a simple way to support area businesses while simultaneously clearing names off your Christmas list, and it’s a win-win. Your purchase will keep money in our community and you’ll be bestowing the most coveted of all Christmas gifts. Once again, gift cards are the most-requested holiday gift, according to the National Retail Federation.

Buying a gift certificate for a small business isn’t as simple as snapping up a gift card from a grocery store end cap, but many can be purchased online, flexible options are available and you can get really creative.

A Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association gift certificate, available in $10, $25 and $50 increments, can be used at more than 120 participating businesses in Saratoga Springs. They can be purchased at any Adirondack Trust Company branch.

The Schenectady Greenmarket and the Saratoga Farmers Market offer gift certificates onsite and online. Some farms, including Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont and King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville, also sell gift cards that can be applied to farm store orders. Bundle the certificate with a jar of jam, pie, slab of grass-fed beef or artisan cheese for a heartfelt, sensible offering.

Some of the Capital Region’s most treasured institutions still haven’t opened or are operating at significantly reduced capacity, including Proctors, Albany’s Palace Theatre, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Landmark Spectrum 8 Theatres and arts and culture venues. Most sell gift cards or membership packages. Purchasing one now could help sustain them while their doors are closed. Combine a gift card with a framed playbill, concert poster or popcorn bucket for some added pizzazz.

Buying for a bibliophile? Slide a gift card for one of the few remaining independently run bookstores, like Northshire Bookstore or The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, into a copy of a current best-seller, or better yet, a local title.

The Capital Region is bubbling over with breweries, wineries and distilleries. If you have an adult beverage-lover on our list, pair a Druthers Brewing Company, Albany Distilling Company or Saratoga Winery gift card with a bottle of wine, spirits or six-pack, slap on a bow and you’re set.

If you’re grappling with the compulsion to grab a great deal while supporting small businesses, consider these gift card offers that include bonuses.

Black and Blue Steak and Crab, Albany: Receive a $20 bonus card for every $100 gift card purchase.

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness, Colonie and Saratoga Springs: Purchase a $150 gift card and receive an additional $20 in spa dollars;  receive an additional $20 in spa dollars and a Complexions Spa Set when you purchase a $225 gift cards.

DZ Restaurants: For a limited time,

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CoNic wedding first look! The Resident stars Matt Czuchry and Emily VanCamp tease season 4 premiere

Fox’s The Resident is kicking off season 4 on Jan. 12 with a bang! The long awaited wedding between Nic Nevin (Emily VanCamp) and her beloved Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) is finally happening, and everyone is invited.



a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Guy D'Alema/FOX


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“They met in a bar, fell in love in a hospital, and now — after all the glorious highs and painful losses — Conrad and Nic will join hands forever,” says series co-creator Amy Holden Jones, along with co-showrunners Todd Harthan, Andrew Champan, and Peter Elkoff in an exclusive joint statement to EW. “At the end of a premiere episode that looks back on the crisis year that was 2020 — and visualizes an end to the pandemic — Conrad and Nic decide that there is no better time to commit to a hopeful future, and so they say ‘I do.'” 

Series stars VanCamp and Czuchry, who bring to life the soon-to-be betrothed duo known collectively as CoNic, shared with EW what their characters’ big day is like and why it was the perfect time for them to finally make that commitment to one another.



Matt Czuchry, Emily VanCamp are posing for a picture: Guy D'Alema/FOX


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“It is often easy to be there for your partner in the good times. But the hard times, if you can make it through those times, then you really know what you have in a LIFE partner,” explains Czuchry of the Chastain Memorial Hospital it couple. “Conrad and Nic have been exceptional teammates for one another with each struggle they have faced. For example, Conrad was Nic’s rock when her sister Jessie [Julianna Guill] passed. He was right by Nic’s side to love her and cry with her as she grieved. And through challenges such as these, they have made the other stronger and more vulnerable in their individual lives. That is what you want in a partner… to make you a better version of yourself that lasts long after the obstacles fade. And as a couple, those challenges conquered together have made them a more perfect unit for the next life challenges that are sure to come once they are married.”



a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: "We've been on this journey together for several years now so it felt good to honor these characters and their love for each other," VanCamp tells EW.


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“We’ve been on this journey together for several years now so it felt good to honor these characters and their love for each other,” VanCamp tells EW.

Adds VanCamp, “I love how much Nic and Conrad have grown both individually and as a couple over the years. They have both been through so much independently and yet still always managed to find their way back to each other. The love, support and comfort they continuously offered each other through those difficult times is what ultimately brought them to this marriage. It really feels like they have earned this moment and we will only see that connection deepen as the season progresses.”

Gallery: From steamy kisses to plot-changing lines, here are 26 iconic TV moments that weren’t planned (INSIDER)

Nurse practitioner, Nic will have her father Kyle Nevin (Corbin Bernsen)

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