DENVER (KDVR) — As thousands prepare to visit metro area malls and shop online for holiday gifts, investigators warn ’tis the season for scams.
The FBI reports the two most common holiday scams are non-delivery, where you pay online but never receive your items, and non-payment schemes, where crooks use a seller’s name to do business, but the real seller is never paid.
The agency’s Internet Crime Report shows these scams cost consumers more than $300 million in 2021.
1. Shop on private internet
“Try not to do any shopping on any public IPs or public Wi-Fi,” software engineer Amit Pandey told FOX31.
2. Double check website addresses
When online, look before you leap when it comes to unfamiliar website addresses, Pandey said. Check for misspelled words or company names with incorrectly added wording.
3. Be cautious of password-change requests
Be especially cautious of any unfamiliar business asking you to change your password. Contact the business directly through a trusted number to verify information.
4. Avoid using debit, prepaid cards online
When making a purchase, avoid using debit cards and prepaid gift cards online. Some scammers trick the gift card user into providing the identification number on the card so the crooks can then use it for their own purchases.
Using a credit card will provide more protection if any charges are disputed.
5. Keep receipts, read return policy
When shopping in stores, keep your receipt and be clear on the return policy. Report scams to the Colorado Attorney General’s office.