(RepublicanJournal.org) – ‘Tis the season to go a little crazy on the credit cards, and scammers are ready to take advantage of the chaos. The threat of getting ripped off might be elevated around this time of year, but a thoughtful review of your accounts could help you catch thieves in their tracks. Here’s how to protect yourself.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations warns that nearly 12,000 US residents filed complaints with its Internet Crime Center (IC3) over nonpayment/non-delivery scams during the 2022 holiday season. The reported losses totaled over $73 million.
Many victims were sellers who shipped out goods before a buyer’s payment went through, and the individuals then ghosted them. Others were consumers who thought they were paying for a good deal — only they never received the items. Some con artists put the buyer’s credit card on a payment subscription or found other means of using the information without authorization.
Make sure to check accounts often to catch unlawful activity as quickly as possible. Other ways to stay safe include:
- Only buy from web pages starting with https:// and a closed-lock icon.
- Research any company before doing business, especially if it’s online.
- Insist on paying by credit card, which is traceable and can allow for reversed charges if necessary.
- Pick just one credit card to use for all online purchases.
- Keep antivirus and malware subscriptions up to date.
- Ignore unsolicited emails that contain hyperlinks or ask for personal information.
- Ship out items only after payments have cleared.
Additional holiday scams can include fake charities, delivery driver impersonators phishing for personal information, and gift cards tampered with to drain into thieves’ accounts soon after they’re activated. Always go directly to a charity or company’s website instead of clicking on provided links. Also, try to buy gift cards from a business’ official page or make sure they’ve been safely stored behind counters to reduce the risk of buying altered ones.
Anyone who believes they’ve fallen victim to an online scam should contact IC3 at www.ic3.gov.
Copyright 2023, RepublicanJournal.org