Tis the season… for cyber scams

Don’t fall for false ads and fraud

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tis the season for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but when it comes to online shopping, not all huge steals are great deals.

Better Business Bureau Director of Strategic Marketing Whitney Adkins said, “At this time of year, we start to see reports from folks who say ‘I bought this online and it never arrived,’ or ‘It did arrive, but it is absolutely not what I ordered.'”

Even worse than falling for false advertising is falling for fraud.

AAA East Central Spokesperson Tiffany Stanley said, “These hackers can take your credit card information off of a site. They can also take your personal information… The worst case scenario is they open up financial accounts in your name, and that’s when the most damage is done.”

You can avoid falling victim to cybercrime by having a game plan in place.

First off, AAA advises you to hop onto a secured Wi-Fi to surf the web for your stocking stuffers.

“Anytime you’re using any type of public, unsecured Wi-Fi, that leaves you vulnerable to hackers,” explained Stanley.

Also, when you see third-party ads offering big-ticket items and name-brand buys for next to nothing, let that raise some red flags.

Adkins cautioned, “Just be cautious when you see those ads that look like really great pricing almost too good to be true, because a lot of times they can be. When possible, instead of clicking on those ads, go to the site directly that you want to order from.”

Before you check out, run quick a search to see just who it is you’re giving your card info to.

“It can be kind of a nuisance at times,” conceded Adkins, “but it really goes a long way towards protecting you and your money down the road.”

Stanley added, “Limit the amount of personal information that you’re giving on these sites….The most important thing is to make sure that you have a strong password… It’s the best way to keep your personal information safe.”

You can visit the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker system to verify you’re ordering from a legitimate business. 

You can also stay ahead of fraud activity before it happens by using credit monitoring platforms like AAA’s real-time alerts.