How to avoid online scams this holiday season

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Cyber Monday is one of the most shopped days of the year, but experts warn it is also a prime opportunity for scammers to steal your personal information.

Online shopper Makaila Harrison’s uses her smartphone not just used for texting and calling but for online shopping as well.

“Instagram now, they have like apps or ads that pop up, and I went to one and it was like Uggs for $70,” Harrison said. “And I went on the real Ugg website, and they were on sale for like $200, and I was like ‘Why are you tricking us?’”

Hackers are learning new ways to trick shoppers, and Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chad Suggs said there are things you need to know when shopping online.

“One of the first things you should look for is making sure you’re actually shopping at a business that is an actual business, and not something somebody may have thrown up to capture your particular information,” Suggs said.

Suggs warns to be wary when buying from an app.

“You should actually make sure that you’re checking where you download your app from,” Suggs said. “Never follow the links. Go find it yourself and make sure you can verify that it’s from that company.”

Fake apps for big stores like Dillards, Payless and Jimmy Choo exist in the digital world and if downloaded, scammers could shop with your bank account this holiday season.

Experts said to read the terms and conditions before downloading an app or submitting a purchase.

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