EL PASO, Texas – With the holiday shopping season here, shoppers across the Borderland will be going online to avoid crowds, keep safe during the pandemic and find the best deals.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, thousands of people will become victims of holiday shopping scams.
Scammers can rob you of your money and personal financial information and spoil your holiday spirit.
According to El Paso FBI agents, the two most prevalent scams involve non-delivery and non-payment.
Here are some tips from the El Paso office of the FBI to keep safe while shopping online.
*Always get a tracking number for items purchased online so you can make sure they have been shipped and you can follow the delivery process.
*Be wary of sellers who post on an auction site or place an ad as if they reside in the United States and then respond to questions by stating they are out of the country on business, a family emergency or other similar reasons.
*Avoid sellers who post under one name but ask that payment be sent to someone else.
*Consider canceling your purchase if a seller requests funds be wired directly to them through a money transfer company, pre-paid card or bank-to-bank wire transfer. Money sent in those ways is virtually impossible to recover.
*Using a credit card is generally considered the safest way to pay for an online purchase.
*If you are using an online marketplace or auction site, check their feedback ratings. Be wary of buyers and sellers with mostly unfavorable ratings or no ratings.
*Always be suspicious of deals that seem to be good to be true.
If you do become the victim of a holiday scam, contact your bank immediately. You should also inform your local law enforcement and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov/.