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With the holiday season underway here are some tips to help with your online shopping experience to make things easier for you while you shop.

  • Tip Number 1: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

    According to Nick Biasini, the head of outreach for Cisco Talos, a threat intelligence organization, he stated that many scammers are trying to grab your attention online, in order to lure you offline by offering sweet deals related to the hottest toys out there.

  • Tip Number 2: Research your purchase before you make a purchase.

    According to the BBB, 81% of people who didn’t research the website through an independent source ended up losing money.

  • Tip Number 3: Watch out for fake websites.

    Fake sites often have grammatical errors, mistakes in the URL, and a ton of bad online reviews. Look for contact information.

  • Tip Number 4: Watch out for deals on social media.

    Scammers will often try to entice you while you’re scrolling. Many schemers have access to tools that help them understand buying behaviors. According to the BBB, they can float ads online to entice you by offering exactly what you’ve been looking for.

  • Tip Number 5: Be aware of fake tracking numbers.

    The BBB stated that 54% of those who received shipping information found out it was fake. The key is NOT to click on the tracking link. The BBB strongly advises you to go to the shipper’s website and enter in the tracking code for yourself to see if it’s legit.

  • Tip Number 6: Use a credit card to pay for items.

    Do not use a debit card, gift cards, pre-paid money cards, wire transfers, etc to pay for items online

  • Tip Number 7: Looks can be deceiving: Don't believe everything you see.

    Watch out for weird text messages from unknown numbers with links to gift cards. Clicking that link tells the scammers a real person is on the other end of that number (or email or social media message).