Online Shopping

FBI tips for shopping online this holiday season

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Online shopping can be an easy and convenient option during the holiday season. Whether by phone or laptop, purchases can be made with the click of a button, but this time of year is also a popular time for scammers looking for their next big payday.

“Anyone and everyone can and has been scammed,” said Dean Neubauer, a Special Agent with the FBI.

Neubauer says online scams have become more sophisticated over the years, with scammers using trust and believability to defraud people.

“They’ll start getting more sophisticated in the emails that they are sending where it’s one that you might expect and you might click on,” he said.

There are many ways people can protect themselves online. That includes looking for character substitutions in emails and websites.

“Make sure it’s a reputable site. There are resources out to find out like ‘Is this site legit?

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How to protect your identity, wallet on Cyber Monday

With online shopping trumping in-store retail this holiday season, cybercriminals will have no shortage of potential victims to target. And they’ve only gotten smarter and more nefarious over the past year.

“Online purchasing scams were the number one scam reported in 2020, and unfortunately, these scams are becoming more frequent each year,” said Hari Ravichandran, founder and CEO, Aura, a provider of digital security. “The total number of reported scams, including online purchasing scams, rose by 24.9% between 2019-2020 according to the Better Business Bureau to 46,575.”

The 2021 holiday season is expected to be rife with even more bad actors than in the past.

“We will see an all-time high in cyber crimes this year,” said Chad Cragle, director of security and compliance at FormAssembly. “Every year the percentage increases because the attacks are becoming more sophisticated and the tools these threat actors are using are becoming more popular

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Florida businesses prepare for shoppers in-store, online

LAKELAND – Despite online shopping rising in popularity, retailers are gearing up for in-store Black Friday shoppers by beefing up staff and adding merchandise. 

An increase of consumers is expected, as 64% of shoppers plan to take advantage of in-store Black Friday deals, a 13% increase over last year, according to the Florida Retail Federation. 

“Our merchants are well-prepared,” Lakeland Square Mall Associate General Manager Ryan Conlon said. “While most sell online as they are large companies, we also have many small local businesses that deal exclusively from their respective stores.” 

The mall will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday and is decorated for the holiday season. Santa will also be on hand meeting with shoppers of all ages.  

The mall is also hosting multiple seasonal tenants to add variety to the lineup of year-round merchants, Conlon said. They will offer a range of products from

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Don’t let scammers make your holidays blue; stay safe while shopping

Question: What are the latest online shopping safety tips?

Answer: The holiday season always drives online purchase volume to the highest levels of the year, which also means that those with malicious intent step up their tactics as well.

Elaborate phishing scams

One of the more sophisticated scams incorporates a fully functional website that looks like it’s selling popular and hard-to-get items at great pricing.

Creating a fake shopping website that looks exactly like the website of a popular retailer is pretty easy, so you can’t always believe what you’re seeing.

They’ll then take to social media and web comments to link to these “amazing deal websites” to try to snare unsuspecting bargain shoppers.

Take a close look at the entire web address as fake sites often use elaborate tricks to try to hide the fact that you aren’t on the actual retailer’s website.

Consider installing a free web browser

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