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Christmas shopping scams: 6 ways to protect yourself

Holidays may be around the corner, but scamsters rarely do take a break. Here are warning signs for people to save them from falling prey to seasonal shopping scams.

Christmas shopping scams: 6 ways to protect yourself
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New Delhi, First Published Dec 14, 2021, 9:57 AM IST
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With Christmas just around the corner, you will come across a plethora of offers and schemes coming your way. Holidays may be around the corner, but scamsters rarely do take a break. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued warning signs for people to save themselves from falling prey to seasonal shopping scams.

So if you want to protect your hard-earned money and scope out scammers during the holiday season, you would be advised to ensure the following:

* Reinforce your financial accounts with stronger passwords. It is advisable to use different passwords for each financial account, and have multi-level authentication if the option is available.

* Make your purchases only from secure and reputed websites. Avoid shopping from unfamiliar websites, especially if they are offering unrealistic discounts on branded merchandise. Understand that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

* Verify the legitimacy of buyers or sellers before going ahead with a purchase. Check for feedback rating if you are using an online marketplace or auction website. Avoid buyers and sellers who have too many unfavourable ratings or no ratings

* Generally, credit cards are the safest way to conduct online shopping as they provide several layers of security against fraud. A major red flag for fraud are websites that demand payment solely through gift cards. Skip them for sure.

* Stay away from sellers who insist you pay with cryptocurrency or wire transfers for products being purchased. These methods allow them to quickly receive and bank the funds, leaving scammed shoppers with little recourse.

* Always scrutinise your bank and credit card statements routinely, especially after making online purchases and in the weeks following the holidays. Never give personal information like your date of birth or personal identity card number to an unknown person.

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