Online Christmas shopping: how to protect yourself from scammers

Online shopping scams: How to protect yourself during Christmas shopping season
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:05 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -While in-store shopping is enjoyable for some, the convenience of shopping online is appealing for others. Before you buy online, Denise Groene from the Better Business Bureau says to be careful.

“Scammers try to lure consumers in by fake ads on social media as well as fake websites,” said Groene.

There are ways to check things further before you buy, like a reverse image search. Jody Gillaspie director of the consumer protection division of the Attorney General’s office, says they have instructions on how to do the search.

“That image has been used repeatedly over the internet. There’s potential problems and red flags,” said Gillaspie.

There are ways to look into a website as well.

“Go to whois.com and see when a website was registered,” said Groene. “So if it’s a newly created website and there’s no reviews, that would be a red flag that this is a holiday pop-up website.”

Scammers want immediate payment.

“They ask you to use a digital wallet such as Zelle because they know it’s like cash, and once you send the money, you cannot receive that back,” said Groene.

Using a credit card gives you the best protection.

“Credit cards have more consumer protection than using alternative modes of payment,” said Groene.

Of the many online purchases this holiday season, those duped by a scammer may find they ordered from a grinch.

“What a bummer, especially in the holiday season. To be waiting for a gift that never arrives,” said Groene.

While we may worry about older individuals being duped by a scam, Groene says those between the ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to become victims, losing, on average, one hundred dollars.