Beware of cyber shopping scams

Posted at 6:24 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 07:24:25-05

WISCONSIN — If you are shopping online this holiday season, watch out. Scammers are out in full force trying to trick you with fake websites, pop-up ads, and misleading emails. Here is how some of these scams work and how to steer clear:

Scammers have gotten very good at creating websites that look legitimate but are fake.

These phony sites may have cloned graphics and other things to make the site look real. However, if you look at the address bar, you may notice extra punctuation that was inserted or a change of one letter in the spelling. To avoid getting taken, make sure that you pay attention to the address bar before clicking or entering information.

Some consumers have also gotten taken by pop-up ads that are designed to pique interest with something like a unique subject, a great deal on a popular item, or scare tactics like a computer being infected with a virus or malware. When in doubt, close your browser and disconnect from the internet.

Also, watch out for fake emails, text messages, and phone calls about fake shipping alerts. Some may tell you that there is a problem with the order, others may try to convince you to click on a fake tracking link. If you get a suspicious call, email, or text like this, do not take action until you contact the business via a phone number or email that you know is legitimate. If you created an online account with this business, the “my account” page will often have legitimate contact information.

If you suspect a scam, report it to the business as well as consumer organizations. Your information will help others from being scammed in the future.

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