Cyber scams: Online holiday shopping

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – ‘Tis the season for shopping, but many of today’s shoppers are grabbing their gifts online.

The amount of stolen information during online shopping has increased this season, but a few simple tips could help keep your personal information safe and secure.

“If you’re shopping online, one of the first things you should do is make sure you’re on a secure internet connection,” said Lt. Chad Suggs of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. “You don’t want to be using free wifi or on hotspots, because people can steal your information going to and from the hot spot.”

Other tips: Shopping at home and on your own internet service is safer than anywhere else. Make sure you’re going to legitimate websites, and “super deals” are a red flag.
Make sure each payment window is secure, uses encryption, and doesn’t ask for any unnecessary personal information. Use a credit card with a low balance, so all of your money isn’t compromised in the event that information is stolen.

If you do get scammed, report it to the company, your bank, and local law enforcement.

One of the biggest things to note – make sure you’re on a store’s actual website. Some criminals will make a website that looks similar to a major corporation’s site.

“Some are easy to spot, some are not so easy to spot. But one of the keys is if you go to do any sort of payment stuff and it’s not a secure browser, that is an obvious red flag.”

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