Shoppers, think twice before you click an invoice like this during the holiday season

Click to play video: 'Phony invoices used to scam online shoppers'
Phony invoices used to scam online shoppers
Our Consumer Matters reporter Anne Drewa tells us how fraudsters use fake emailed invoices to convince you to give up your personal information or infect your computer with a virus, and what you can do to protect yourself – Nov 23, 2017

Keep a close eye on your inbox if you plan to shop this holiday season: the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning the public about fake email invoices.

“It’s off the charts,” said the BBB’s Evan Kelly.

What’s worse, the scams are becoming more sophisticated.

Coverage of holiday scams on

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Amazon, for example, has warned customers about fake emails from fraudsters trying to collect personal information; the online retail giant is asking customers not to open any suspicious attachments or links.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

The scam usually begins with a fake invoice sent via email using an official logo from a trusted company.

You may be asked to confirm your address or other personal information relating to your account.

READ MORE: Top 10 scams of 2016 reveal Canadians lost more than $90M last year

Other fake invoices might say your order or delivery is stuck in transit, urging the recipient to click on a link and input their personal information.

“If you click on one of these links, you could be opening up yourself to malware that could freeze your computer to get it unlocked,” Kelly said.

“Sometimes they could be phishing for your social insurance number because if someone has your social insurance number, they can start accessing government programs and opening bank accounts in your name.”

The BBB said the best line of defense is to avoid clicking on a link and contact the company directly if you have any concerns about your order.

Also, try to verify the sender’s email address and never share your personal information.

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The BBB is also reminding consumers that Canada Post does not issue emails about your delivery unless requested.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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