South Carolina’s Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) says it wants to arm consumers with advice on avoiding scam artists while holiday shopping online.
Spokeswoman Juliana Harris told South Carolina Radio Network that consumers need to make sure they are accessing a legitimate and secure site. “A lot of times scammers will send emails, pop ups or even spoof websites,” she said.
While shopping, do not use public WF-Fi hotspots when submitting potentially sensitive information such as credit card numbers. “You want to make sure that you’re not going to the free WI-FI at your local coffee shop,” Harris said.
How you are getting to a website is also important. “You want to make sure you are accessing any sort of retailer’s site or Internet site with a secure device,” she added.
Watch out for phishing attempts. Scammers up their game during the holiday season, sending fake gift cards and posing as your favorite retailers and financial institutions to request your sensitive information.
Never provide that information via e-mail, text or to a cold caller. Also, do not click on links, download attachments or call phone numbers included in suspicious emails.
For more information on how to protect your personal information and pocketbook any time of year, visit www.consumer.sc.gov and click “Consumer Resources.”