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The Fraud Dog helps the holiday shopper avoid being scammed by the online Grinch! 

Fraud Expert Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog says, buyers beware this year when shopping online. Remember, better watch out for that ole Grinch, hoping to lure you in and take that holiday cheer.

Here are some ways to protect yourself against the ole online Grinch:

  • Be sure to shut down your computer when you are not using it.
  • Make sure your camera is shut off on your computer when you are not using it, you never know who might be watching.
  • When using unique online shopping sites do your due diligence to see if there are any consumer complaints. Always read reviews to see what others think also.
  • Always be sure that your security software is up to date with latest revisions to protect against those holiday virus attacks. Hackers know that people spend a lot of time on the internet during the holidays.
  • Watch out for “link-outs” or phishing scams that direct you to another phony website.
  • Pay with a credit card not a debt card. Credit card companies will have great dispute resolution programs if there are any issues with your merchandise. Be sure to utilize a credit card with low limits as well in case the hacker takes your information and goes on a shopping spree.
  • Watch out for those “special offers”  like “click here now”. Hackers love to send you on fake holiday hays rides to nowhere, while they attempt to get your personal information.
  • Make sure you are able to return the product you purchase from online shopping and check for “restocking fees” so be sure to read the fine print.
  • Check for shipping fees and any other hidden fees.
  • Track your order, as some online e-tailers will take your money and the item is forever on back order.
  • You should not ever have to provide your social security number or personal bank information.
  • Use “strong” passwords, as well as different passwords for each on-line shop.
  • Make sure you are entering correct URLs. Hackers often buy misspelled domains to trick people into entering personal information.
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