ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is offering tips to help Floridians avoid getting scammed on one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
Moody’s office said last year’s Cyber Monday produced the single biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, with nearly $11 billion spent.
Moody said as online commerce increases, so does the risk of scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Here are her tips to avoid common types of fraud targeting holiday shoppers:
Gift card scam: A scammer asks a victim to put money on a gift card, such as a Google Play or iTunes card, to pay for a product or service, before sending the numbers on the back of the card to the scammer. This is always a scam — no credible business will demand payment via gift card.
Counterfeit goods scam: Counterfeit products often resemble the original product, especially in online photos. However, the fake products are rarely of the same quality and purchasing the product steals money from the designers and innovators who created the original product.
E-holiday card scam: Emails or text messages of seemingly innocent digital holiday cards could instead be a common greeting card scam. The cards may contain a malicious link used to phish personal and financial information or inject malware onto an electronic device.
‘Buy online, pick up in store’ (BOPIS) scam: Knowing consumers want to bypass shipping fees, scammers create fake BOPIS product sales online. This can lead to the wrong goods being sent, or no goods being sent at all.
Moody recommends that consumers use the following tips to ensure a safe online shopping experience:
- Double-check the legitimacy of an online store by researching the store’s name and the sought-after product;
- Use credit cards, when possible, for better protection from fraud;
- Refrain from clicking on links with deals that look too good to be true; and
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi when submitting personal or financial information.