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Avoiding Black Friday, Cyber Monday scams

KSNF/KODE — Online shopping is expected to grow by 13.5% this holiday season. The ease and convenience of online shopping makes it an attractive option for busy holiday shoppers. However, with this increase comes the opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of shoppers.  

“Customers can do a lot to protect themselves from scams during the holiday season and all year. US Cellular wants to help businesses and customers sell and shop successfully, without worrying about fraud,” said Joe Cabrera, director of sales for US Cellular in Missouri and Kansas.

Here are some good safety tips to avoid seasonal scams:

  • Check out any links or attachments before opening — Go to sites for trusted retailers by typing their URL into the address bar directly instead of clicking on unknown links. Look for https:// at the beginning of the website address before entering payment information to ensure it is a secure website. 
  • Choose strong passwords and only use them in safe places — Use multi-factor identification if possible and ensure passwords are long and complex. Never log into a bank or use a credit card while connected to public Wi-Fi, and make sure cellular devices are set to “ask” networks to join.  
  • Shop reliable sites — Always verify that a website has a legitimate mailing address and a phone number for customer service questions. Don’t autosave credit card information and always read the reviews of an app or website to make sure it is secure. 
  • Look out for seasonal scams — Identity thieves know that shoppers may be particularly vulnerable during the holiday season. Be especially vigilant about fake promotions, pop-up ads, package tracking emails, phishing scams, e-cards, charity donation links and purchase confirmation emails. When in doubt, call the organization directly.  
  • Monitor all accounts closely — Enable automated notifications on the phone for credit card accounts to keep track of purchases and alert banks of any suspicious activity as soon as it happens.  

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