As many of us will be shopping online this holiday season for the convenience of avoiding the crowds and finding that deal; be aware that shopping online also provides a unique opportunity for would-be scammers.
During the holiday season, scammers become more creative and bold while preying on the unsuspecting consumer.
To mitigate your chances of being victimized by an online scam FBI Richmond encourages consumers to treat online shopping as you would walking into a physical location – be aware, be alert and safeguard your personal information and finances.
- Do not click on emails/texts from unknown senders.
- Independently verify the legitimacy of websites before providing personal and financial information.
- Conduct a business inquiry on the Better Business Bureau’s website (www.bbb.org) of the online retailer.
- Steer clear of unfamiliar sites 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 e-mail service instead of a company e-mail address.
- Beware of purchases or services that require payment with gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers.
- Secure all financial accounts with strong passwords or passphrases.
- Thoroughly check credit card statements; and if possible, consider setting up credit card transaction auto alerts.
- Never make purchases using public Wi-Fi.
- Always get a tracking number for items purchased online,…