How to protect yourself from online holiday scams

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FBI warns against Cyber Holiday Scams

DENVER (KDVR) – Online Christmas shopping is fast and convenient, but the FBI Denver Division warns that scam artists are plentiful this time of year.

FBI tips on how to spot a cyber scam:

  • Take your time. As soon as you receive an email you don’t have to immediately click on links or open attachments.
  • Look over the email for spelling/grammatical errors and if you don’t recognize the sender don’t open any attachments or links.
  • Use your cursor and hover over the sender’s email address and view the link to see the hidden email address and URL
  • Never click on links, open attachments or provide your personal information without verifying the reason behind the request or whether it is a legitimate business entity.
    • Be wary of providing personal information such as: name, date of birth, phone number, username, password, bank account number and credit card number.
  • Be leery of an email that has an unusual sense of urgency.
  • If you’re purchasing from a company for the first time, do your research by checking reviews.
  • Verify the legitimacy of a buyer or seller before moving forward with an online purchase.
  • Be careful to verify unfamiliar sites. Check for an “http” portion of the web address and a lock symbol in your browser window.
  • If you’ve never heard a site do some research before you buy. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  • Use a credit card. You’re more likely to be covered in case you become a victim of fraud.

Delivery service scam emails, which are made to look like Fedex, UPS or the US Postal Service, say you have a package and they need personal information for delivery. Don’t give it, delivery companies don’t ask for personal information in an unsolicited email.

Scams can be reported on the Colorado attorney general’s website.

Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center if you are a victim of a scam.

The FBI has more information about avoiding holiday online scams.

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