Criminals don’t take the holidays off, and they are constantly looking for easy targets. The holiday season is no exception. Cybercriminals are very aware that this week, shoppers are gearing up for the best deals they can find. With the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers will be on the lookout for online deals more than ever, please remember to also watch for scams designed to steal money and personal information. When shopping online, do your research and be aware of social media scams offering discounts and coupons that require you to hand over personal information. Steer clear of suspicious sites, phishing emails, and ads that offer too good to be true deals or unrealistic discounts. The most important thing to do is be vigilant while shopping online this season in order to protect yourself and prevent criminals from robbing you of the joys of the holiday season.
In order to help protect yourself from being a victim of a holiday season, ensure you get a tracking number for items purchased online so you can follow the delivery process. Avoid sellers who post an auction or advertisement under one name, but asks the payment be sent to someone else. Avoid sellers that act as authorized dealers of popular items but reside in countries where there would be no such dealers. Verify the legitimacy of a seller before moving forward with a purchase, check feedback ratings if you are using an online auction site. Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
If you suspect you have been the victim of a holiday scam, contact your financial institution immediately. Request that your bank reaches out to the financial institution where the fraudulent transfer was sent. Contact local law enforcement.