Christmas shoppers warning: beware of scammers selling great deals

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If you click too fast you might click on a scam. Only 20% of people report losses because they are embarrassed to admit they fell for it.

CHARLOTTE, NC – Over the past few weeks, retail professionals have made it clear that people need to start their Christmas shopping early due to supply chain bottlenecks that make some of the hottest gifts hard to find.

All of this is fine and good, but you shouldn’t be in such a hurry that you accidentally click on links and pages that want to steal your personal information. It’s easy to get lost in the online shopping experience by clicking from one ad to another and then another before you’re no longer near the starting point. Hence the risk of clicking too quickly.

When people are rushing to shop quickly, that’s good news for criminals looking to steal your money and even your identity. It is human nature to hurry and in doing so, many noises may entice you. Targeted “ads” find something you are looking for and encourage you to act now to save big.

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“They are becoming more and more demanding,” says Otavio Freire, President and co-founder of Protect cyber protection, called. “With the holidays ahead, it will get worse. We have seen very deep social engineering attacks that will deceive the best of us.”

Freire said the scams will populate your social media feeds based on your interests, such as some of that direct marketing you get based on pages your account likes.

WCNC Charlotte always asks “where’s the money?” If you need help, contact the Defenders team via email money@wcnc.com.

Users should be wary of free giveaways, discount coupons, or offers that lead them to their favorite stories. Also, be suspicious of charities asking for your money. Scammers could try to get people to click the link or send money to redeem a great offer. These are almost always frauds.

It has been reported that in North Carolina alone $ 70 million was lost to scams last year.

“The reality is that only 20% of people report the loss, so that number could be five times higher,” Freire said.

Last year, the FBI reported 467,361 complaints with losses of more than $ 3.5 billion across the country. Even that number is likely to be larger since people are embarrassed not to report the crime.

If you find a good deal or coupon, go to that store’s actual website and double check before clicking on it. If you lose money to an internet scam, it’s gone because these people operate in other countries and it is next to impossible for anyone to help you get it back.

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.

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