Woman laying on her living room floor with her laptop and her dog. The woman is wearing a holiday hat.

As you holiday shop online, please be aware of the tricks and tactics employed by scammers! The risk of online purchase scams rises during the holidays because more people are making online purchases, but also because scammers are pretending to offer the most popular products for the season at great prices.

Here are some important things to remember about online shopping scams:

  • Purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments. To ensure they are legitimate, search for their company name and look up online customer reviews.
  • Another way to help verify if a company is legitimate – look for a phone number on their site and call it to see if it is correct and working.
  • Warning signs of suspicious websites:
    • Bad grammar
    • Changing domain names as you click from one section of the site to another
    • Lack of accessible contact information
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Review the company’s policy on returns and warranties before purchasing.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers—look for the lock symbol in the address bar and ensure the address begins https:// — the “s” is for “secure!”
  • Use secure and traceable transactions. Avoid paying by wire transfer, prepaid money card, gift card, or other non-traditional payment methods.
  • That shipment tracking information you received might be fake. Don’t just click on the tracking link; go to the shipper’s website and type in the code yourself to see if it’s real.
  • Always be careful purchasing sought-after products, especially during the holiday season, and always be aware of where you’re entering your personal information online.

Stay informed about current scams in the area and fight fraud today!