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Online shopping is in full swing due to the holidays and this year, because of COVID-19, more shopping is being done online.  The FBI recently provided a warning to Minnesotans letting everyone know that the scammers are ready for these increased opportunities to steal your personal data.  Popular scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim were also provided to help keep us all safe online.

“Scammers are very much looking forward to the holidays to find ways to swindle unsuspecting shoppers.  Due to COVID-19, shoppers should be more vigilant than ever for scams designed to steal their money and personal information.” - said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.

According to the FBI, here are a few common scams:

  • Online Shopping Scams:  Scammers often offer too-good-to-be-true deals via phishing emails or advertisements. T
  • Social Media Shopping Scams: Consumers should beware of posts on social media sites that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards.
  • Work-From-Home Scams:  Consumers should beware of sites and posts offering work they can do from home.
  • Gift Card Scams: During the holiday season, consumers should be careful if someone asks them to purchase gift cards for them in the form of email, phone call or text.
  • Charity Scams: Fraudulent charity scams, in which perpetrators set up false charities and profit from individuals who believe they are making donations to legitimate charitable organizations.  This is common during the holidays and has been seen during the pandemic.
  • Reshipping Scams: These scams involve fraudsters who use stolen credit cards to buy items—usually expensive items—online. Instead of having the items shipped to the billing address, the fraudster sends them to what’s called a “reshipper.”  Fraudsters will convince unwitting individuals to be money mules and accept the deliveries and become the “reshipper.”

The FBI also provided several helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of online scams.  Look through the list below and then share this story with someone you know that might be vulnerable.

Tips to Avoid Being Victimized By Scams

What to do if you are a victim?  The FBI recommends the following:

  • Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov, regardless of dollar loss.
  • Provide all relevant information in the complaint.
  • Contact your financial institution immediately upon discovering any fraudulent or suspicious activity and direct them to stop or reverse the transactions.
  • Ask your financial institution to contact the corresponding financial institution where the fraudulent or suspicious transfer was sent.

Read the full release and info here.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM's Early Morning Show with James Rabe and Jessica Williams

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic

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