FBI alerts on "Christmas" scams

Don't fall prey to scammers. Just if something is "too good to be true" don't buy it, authorities warn.

By Maria T. Morales

This time is ripe for crime to do its thing through cyberspace and for a simple "click" on non-legitimate sites to become a headache.

Faced with this threat, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its acronym in English, warned the public, take the necessary protection measures to avoid any fraud.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people may buy online, which makes them potential victims, warns the report.

Credit card fraud, non-delivery of objects or things for which I pay, but never received, as well as counterfeit items, are some of the criminal activities carried out by online scammers.

Experts advise: know who you are buying from, so it is necessary to research and verify the reviews.

Check the URL to be sure it is a legitimate site, a secure site has https in the web address, they added.

Never transfer money to a seller, avoid paying with prepaid gift cards; in this scam, the seller will ask for a gift card number and PIN. And instead of using the funds for payment, the scammer will steal the funds and you will never receive the item.

When buying online, use a credit card and check your statement regularly. If you observe a suspicious transaction, contact your card company to dispute the charge..

Also protect your social networks by avoiding clicking on suspicious links, even if it appears to be a post from a friend.

For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission website consumer.ftc.gov or contact your state consumer protection office.