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Be a safe shopper this holiday season

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a list of several tips intended to protect consumers this holiday season. Here are a few:

  • Shoppers should be cautious when purchasing items from auction sites or sold through classified ads. Scammers often collection credit card and bank account numbers. Shoppers should check the seller's ratings and reviews and be suspicious if the reviews were made around the same time and date.
  • Purchase gift cards from reputable merchants. Gift cards from third-party websites and auction sites could have been stolen and been deactivated, rendering it useless.
  • Emails or texts saying their is a problem with a customer's credit card or bank account often ask users to go to a fake site to update their personal information. Reputable merchants will not call and ask for that information unsolicited.
  • Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
  • Run a virus scan before opening any email attachments, even if you know the sender.

Additional information on consumer fraud can be found at www.ripoffreports.com, www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com, www.antiphishing.org and www.fraudaid.com.