Protect Yourself Against Online Scams

SOMERVILLE, MA --- With everyone starting their holiday shopping for their family, it's defintely the best time for shoppers to be more vigilant of scams. Criminals know that sometimes shopping online is the best way to steal unsuspecting shoppers of their money and personal information. These criminals can be very creative and their efforts to obtain your money and personal information can result in devastating outcomes for families. Don't become a victim. 

The FBI Office of Public Affairs states that "if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is." 

internet 1862312 1920Online Shopping Scams are happening more frequently especially around the holidays. Scheming companies may offer brand name items for extremely low prices or promis gift cards as an incentive to buy the items. Other sites might offer products at a great price, but the products being sold are not the same as advertised. 

Stay away from un-trusted sites or ads as well as phishing e-mails and third-party merchants. In addtion, do not open unsolicited e-mails and never click on any links in those e-mails. 


But, what are phishing e-mails?

These emails will typically direct you to visit a website where they ask you tu update your personal information, like password, credit card, social security, or bank account numbers. These phishing e-mails may claim to be the legitimate companies you deal with on a regular basis, so be bery careful. 

  1. Be very careful with e-mails that suggest you to change your password via an e-mail link.
  2. Do not update any information in the e-mail linked with a suspicious request for a password. 
  3. Make sure you place those unwanted e-mails into your spam folder and block the sender. 

If you find yourself receiving items purchased from third-party marketplaces, be vigilant. This may mean it was possibly purchased using a stolen credit card number or stolen rewards points and then shipped to you. If you believe you have been victimized, contact your financial institution immediately upon suspecting or discoving a fraudulent activity. Request your that your bank contact the financial institution where the fradulent transfer was sent. Next, contact your local police and finally, file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at, regardless of how much you've lost. Make sure you provide all relevant information in your complaint.