The FBI recommends verifying a site to make sure it is secure and reputable before providing banking information. Customers should beware of purchases or services that require payment with a gift card.
Deals that look too good to be true are often scams. Customers should avoid falling victim to schemes that offer brand-name merchandise at extremely low discounts or offer gift cards as incentives to purchase items. Products sold at great prices are often not what is advertised to customers.
Do not open unsolicited emails or click on any attached links. By doing so, you may end up buying an item, giving away personal information and credit card details.
Social media posts that offer vouchers or gift cards should also be avoided. Scams often pose as holiday promotions or contests. Links to online surveys, even if sent by someone who appears to be a friend, are designed to steal personal information.
To protect personal information, the FBI recommends that all banking and credit accounts are secured with strong, different passwords. Regularly checking your credit card and bank statements is a sure way to see if any fraudulent activity has occurred.
People who suspect they have been a victim of a scam should immediately contact their financial institution. They can also contact law enforcement or file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.