Consumes are expected to spend billions online this Cyber Monday but as deal hunters are looking for the best prices, scammers are also on the hunt to steal personal information.
The Better Business Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service are warning people about identity theft this holiday season. Officials said there are many things you can do to protect yourself.
First protect your personal information online by updating security software on your computer and mobile device.
Use strong and unique passwords for account login information and two-factor authentication. Shop only on secure websites that start with https:// the “s” stands for “secure communications.”
According to Christopher Miller with the IRS, 90 % of online data scams are done through phishing emails. Crooks send emails often posing as a business you trust.
“They often tell an urgent story like there is a problem with your account and that tricks you to opening a link or attachment and that can move malicious code to your computer,” said Miller.
Miller also said this holiday season, people should also watch out for phone scams. In Wisconsin, 195 people have fallen victims to a phone scams, loosing a total of $ 820,000.
Oftentimes scammers will steal information around the holidays and file fake tax returns with your information. Signs of identity theft may be an e-filed return rejected because a duplicate is already filed with the IRS, an unexpected tax transcript, or routine extensions to file request are rejected.
If you feel you are the victim of an online scam, report it to the BBB’s Scam Tracker System.