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5 Tips for Online Holiday Shopping

Transcript: 5 Tips for Online Holiday Shopping

The holidays are here, and it’s time to make your list and check it twice! Though online shopping is easier than ever, watch out for the Grinches who target shoppers for holiday scams. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you click your way to the perfect present.

TIP #1:  Use secure shopping sites.  Only shop with merchants you trust and make sure internet purchases are secured to protect your information. Look for secure transaction signs like a lock symbol and “https” in the address bar.  On your mobile device, download apps from a trusted source like your phones app store, or the retailers’ website.

TIP #2:  Don’t be misled by an ad, or retail site impersonating a real company.  Beware of ‘special offers’ promoted only on social media and URL’s that use the name of well-known brands with slightly different spelling. If a deal looks too good to be true it usually is.

TIP #3:  Think before you pay:  Be wary of online merchants who specifically ask you to pay for a holiday gift with a prepaid debit card or gift card.   Another red flag is a request to wire money to take advantage of a great deal! These forms of payment typically cannot be traced or reversed.

TIP #4:  Watch out for fake shipping notifications!  Never click on links in suspicious or unexpected emails.  Phishing emails may include attachments or links that download malware to your computer to steal your passwords.  Visit official company websites to track your shipments.

TIP #5:  Research charities before you donate.  Unfortunately, some people will attempt to take advantage of your kindness by posing as a legitimate charity in need.  Visit The Federal Trade Commission to validate an organization before giving.

Follow these tips to stay safe this holiday season. Visit the Fraud Information Center to learn more about protecting yourself during the holidays and all year long. Happy shopping!