Holiday shopping tips
December 1, 2011 (San Diego County) -- In time for the holiday season, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reminds shoppers to beware of cyber criminals and their aggressive and creative ways to steal money and personal information.
Scammers use many techniques to fool potential victims including fraudulent auction sales, reshipping merchandise purchased with a stolen credit card, sale of fraudulent or stolen gift cards through auction sites at discounted prices, and phishing e-mails advertising brand name merchandise for bargain prices or e-mails promoting the sale of merchandise that ends up being a counterfeit product.
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Always run a virus scan on attachment before opening.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
- Always compare the link in the e-mail to the web address link you are directed to and determine if they match.
- Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
- Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify that the e-mail is genuine.
- If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act impulsively.