Top Halloween Scam Websites: Red Flags & Tips to Stay Safe 2023

    Top Halloween Scam Websites: Red Flags & Tips to Stay Safe 2022
    Last Updated on Oct 31, 2023

    There are only a few days to go until Halloween – have you prepared the decorations and your scary Halloween costumes? You still have some time to make those last minute purchases, but please keep an eye out for Halloween online shopping scams!

    Fake Spirit Halloween Website

    We notice that scammers are creating bogus websites that impersonate famous retailers like Spirit Halloween. Have you come across any similar ones before?

    Legitimate Spirit Halloween website

    Legitimate Spirit Halloween Website

    SCAM Spirit Halloween website

    spirithalloweens[.]com scam

    Sample fake Spirit Halloween websites (as of October 16, 2023)

    • spirithalloweenwh[.]com
    • spirithalloweens[.]com

    Note: Take a close look at the web address! The only legitimate domain is Watch out!

    Don’t make purchases on such scam websites! There will be problems and disputes; you’ll likely never receive the goods or packages will fail to meet your expectations. In the worst case, your credit card credentials will find their way into scammers’ hands.

    Avoid Scam Sites for FREE

    The truth is, there are lots of scams and scam sites on the internet and they’re getting harder to detect. For an easy and reliable method of detecting and avoiding scam sites, check out our free browser extension (Trend Micro ID Protection) and free mobile app (Trend Micro Check). 

    Both ID Protection and Trend Micro Check can protect you against scams, phishing links, risky websites, and lots more! If you come across something dangerous online, you’ll be alerted in real time so you’ll know to stay well clear   

    5 Red Flags of Halloween Scam Websites

    Below are several checkpoints that you can pay attention to see if an online shop is safe:

    1. Details of the Web Domain

    Before you click on any links, always CHECK if it’s safe. How? You can look up suspicious URLs at Whois for website details, for example:
    (1) Does the domain country of the website match its base?
    (2) How long has the website been registered?
    (3) Is the registrant’s contact information hidden?

    2. Price

    Is the offer too good to be true?

    Halloween scams_Is the offer too good to be true_20221026

    3. Payment Method

    Does the website take electronic transfer, cryptocurrency, prepaid and gift cards, or cash on delivery (COD) ONLY? If so, it is highly likely that it’s a scam. For example, many scam online shops only accept PayPal as a payment method:

    Halloween scams_PayPal only 3. Payment Method_20221026
    • Tip: Choose safer online payment options! Standard payment processing networks such as Visa and Mastercard offer more secure transactions – these networks utilize careful inspection on the websites.

    Note: There are still exceptions – these common payment methods don’t mean the site is 100% secure. How?

    In some cases, the merchant will ‘refund’ money to buyers, claiming technical difficulties with the original payment. After the initial refund, the scammer (‘merchant’) will ask the buyer to use payment methods OTHER THAN the one listed on the website – such as bank transfers or APPs like “Venmo” or “Zelle”. This example shows how once a customer sent out money, the scammer disappeared. Beware!

    4. Layout and Typos

    Content should be 100% accurate on reputable and well-designed websites! Are there a lot of typos and unnatural wording? If there are you should reconsider if you want to spend money on the site.

    5. Contact Details

    Does the website provide full and valid contact details? You can check if the contact information matches the domain of the URL, or you can Google the address to see if the company really exists.

    More Halloween Scam Websites

    Scammers have started early to spread links to scam online shops via text messages that promote various Halloween special sale campaigns. Until October 26, 2023, we’ve blocked 518,080 scam websites featuring Halloween shopping sales:

    • <NAME>’s: A tempting offer just for you, Sexter! Enjoy 00% off with code SEXTER . Shop Halloween & more:
    • PDIC Books: Ready for a Scary-Good Deal? Our Halloween sale has come alive.. With our best selling books over 50% off! See them all: <URL>
    • 🎃 Dowdle Halloween Sale Get ready for the spooky night. Choose from 13 Halloween puzzles, only $13 each! Use code: Halloween13 <URL> Offer ends Sunday, October 2nd!
    • We Love Doggos: Save A Dog Sunday is ending soon! Only a few hours left to fetch a FREE Halloween Doggo Yard Flag & help save doggos! <URL>
    • [Sports Apparel] Put on your favorite Halloween gear for a workout. Get 77% OFF Now. <URL>

    These links will take you to scam online shops. Below are some examples.

    #1 – desiresatisfaction[.]com

    Halloween scam desiresatisfaction

    #2 – vsmeestore[.]com

    Halloween vsmeestore

    #3 – kachieo[.]com

    Halloween scam kachieo

    #4 – pipiverse[.]com

    Halloween Scam_pipiverse[.]com

    Here’s a list of more scam Halloween shopping websites we’ve detected. Have you seen any of it?

    • coatpark[.]com
    • nestorliquor[.]com
    • annishuan[.]com
    • hugoiio[.]com
    • cathytok[.]com
    • hardaddy[.]com
    • usainverse[.]shop
    • wersth[.]com
    • broswear[.]com
    • airysumer[.]com
    • luckyydog[.]com
    • maverickbear[.]com
    • etcydecor[.]com
    • leisuretlly[.]com
    • sasachics[.]com
    • lrahina[.]com
    • grintoss[.]com

    Stay Away from Halloween Scam Websites

    • NEVER click links or attachments from unknown sources.
    • Shop only on legitimate online stores.
    • Do your homework and read reviews about the online store you plan to shop at.

    If you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. Also, please consider leaving a comment or LIKE below.    

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    • By dorothy hartung | October 19, 2023
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