Shop safe and smart this holiday season

Tips on how to avoid scams while shopping this holiday season
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:41 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Are most items on your shopping list only a click away?

As you’re scrolling through ads and social media, there’s red flags to watch out for, so you don’t pickup a scam along the way.

“We want people to really be cautious this time of year,” FBI spokesperson, Kevin Wheeler said.

Wheeler said desperate shoppers should beware of shady websites promising this years hottest gifts for a fraction of the price.

“If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is,” Wheeler said.

Before you start clicking away, make sure you’re shopping on a reputable site.

Check the website address. Does it start with https?

Watch for bad grammar and read shopper reviews.

“You can always do searches online to see if that’s a legitimate website. What are other people saying about that website? Have they fallen victim? These are things they can lookout for,” Wheeler said.

Beware of making quick purchases while scrolling through social media. Scammers have access to the tools they need to learn about your buying behaviors, offering exactly what you want at enticingly low prices.

“If you’re on Facebook, Snapchat, or social media, you might see that people are offering things through links or a post on their wall, but if you click on that information, there’s a possibility it could take you to a site where they could steal your information,” Wheeler said.

Pay attention to how you pay.

“A lot of times scammers will ask you to pay with gift cards. We recommend that if you are going to be doing some type of money transaction online, use a credit card so that you have a better chance of getting your money back and you can dispute charges that may be fraudulent,” Wheeler said.

The FBI asks you to report fraud or attempted fraud if something does happen.