Watch Out for These Online Scams During the Holiday Season

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Watch Out for These Online Scams During the Holiday Season

The increase in online shopping gives more opportunity for online criminals to steal your money or information if you’re not careful. Judy Bitterli, McAfee vice president of consumer marketing, reports a 12% annual increase in cybercrimes and over 500 cyberattacks occur each minute. 

Watch out for these popular scams:  

Fake websites – Some scammers create fake websites and emails that look like legitimate companies. Watch for these red flags. 

o As the adage says, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Double-check website links to make sure the name is authentic. Tip: Real companies often have their names at the beginning of the URL. 

o Check the photo quality. If the images are blurry, this can signal a fake site. Also look for misspellings or a logo that may look a little off.  

o If the email or website promotion calls for your urgent action, pause and double-check. This strategy can get you to click quickly without thinking. 

Pet scams – If you’re adopting or buying a pet, be sure it’s from a legitimate adoption center or organization. Pet scams have tripled since last year, as thieves use COVID-19 as an excuse to avoid meeting you in person but take your payment online. Before you send any payment for pets, read online reviews and request a video chat so you can see the seller and pet. 

Don’t use public Wi-Fi – Free Wi-Fi provides an open door for hackers to your online connection, allowing them to access every piece of information you send, like credit card numbers, email addresses – everything. Only use secure internet connections.

Click here for more tips from NBC News.  

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