Scammers hungry to steal your information, money this holiday shopping season

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At this time of year, buying the perfect Christmas gift is a tradition, but it also means it’s the season to hunt down thieves and scammers.

As more people switch from in-store shopping for Christmas gifts to shopping online, Northeast Florida Better Business Bureau President Tom Stephens advised shoppers to pay close attention to the website they’re visiting. shop, especially when scammers are praying for buyers looking for the best. offers.

Stephens said a lot of the scams reported to the BBB are linked to social media ads that claim to have popular items sold in physical stores.

“They have no product. Once they take your credit card, they take your money, close the business, close the bank account and they’re done,” Stephens said.

Stephens also said these are not isolated scams that happen periodically.

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“It’s the number one scam we get all year: online shopping. People buy stuff and get fake merchandise or no merchandise at all,” Stephens said.

Individual shopping websites can also be misleading if you don’t know what to look for. Most legitimate shopping sites will have a lock symbol in the URL bar and display “HTTPS” in the URL to let browsers know that a transaction is about to take place on a secure site.

When it comes to Christmas shopping in stores, more credit and debit card readers are generally safe, but there have been times when shoppers’ card information has been stolen due to stores being victimized. a data breach by hackers. Using cash was seen as a safer option. However, depending on the amount expected to be spent, it is best not to walk around with a large sum of money visible to potential scammers.

“With a credit card, you are protected if the product goes wrong. If the product is wrong, you can dispute the charge. If you pay cash, you are at the mercy of the merchant at that time. So there are pros and cons to doing that,” Stephens said.

However people choose to shop this holiday season, they should take extra precautions to protect their money and their identity, Stephens advised.

A radio frequency identification (RFID) wallet is another way to protect credit card information. It’s designed to prevent thieves with handheld scanners from electronically stealing card information by scanning your wallet, which might be in your back pocket.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.


Scammers hungry to steal your information, money this holiday shopping season

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