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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Holiday Online Shopping
November 26, 2022

Holiday Online Shopping

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Holiday Online Shopping

As the busy holiday shopping season kicks into high gear be vigilant for scams and fraud, especially when shopping online. The holiday deals have already begun, but buyer beware – not all of those great deals you see online are legit because if the online shopping season has started it means that online scam season has officially begun too.

Social media and email are responsible for a lot of offers arriving that seem too good to be true. A lot of them appear genuine despite email providers filtering out the majority of suspect communications.

As an example, Gmail users are protected from nearly 15 billion unwanted messages a day, blocking more than 99.9% of spam, phishing and malware. However scammers don’t slow down during the holiday season — they accelerate. In the past two weeks alone, Gmail blocked over 231 billion spam and phishing messages, 10% higher than the average volume.

So with the holiday season approaching, and online shopping increasing, here are some tips to help keep you safe:

• Avoid clicking on emails and texts from unknown senders

• Make sure to verify the legitimacy of any website before providing personal and financial information

• Avoid clicking on unfamiliar websites or ads that offer items at unrealistic discounted prices. If a deal from an unknown seller seems too good to be true, it more than likely is

• Be wary of online retailers who use a free email service instead of a company email address

• Beware of purchases or services that require payment in the form of gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers

• Make sure financial accounts are secured with strong passwords

• Regularly and thoroughly check credit card statements and, if possible, consider setting up credit card transaction alerts

• Never make online purchases using public Wi-Fi

• Always get a tracking number for online orders and track items through confirmation emails

• Only purchase gift cards from a trusted merchant and do so directly

• Ensure that anti-virus software is up to date on your computer and block pop-up windows

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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