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Christmas is quickly approaching and with that brings all of the hustle and bustle of making sure you have gifts for everyone on your list. If you are like me, the list only gets longer each year and finding that perfect gift can be a task. I try my hardest to buy from local businesses in my community, but there are some gifts that I can’t find in the store, which leads to online shopping. I have never been much of a Black Friday shopper. The deals are great but the big crowds and long lines make shopping from online sound so much more appealing. Many stores have their online Black Friday Specials and those that don’t have deals that go live on Monday for Cyber Monday. Two major shopping days with opportunities to shop online from the comfort of your own home. Online shopping is convenient, but with it, comes the possibility of being scammed. The United States Government recently released a statement warning consumers of holiday scams. These scams can come in many different forms such as phishing emails and fake websites. The phishing emails could come disguised as a limited time offer or a promo code for a discount. Once you click on the link for the offer, you are redirected to a site where you take advantage of the deal by putting in your card information.  These emails can also contain website links that look real. For example, scammers can make an email appear to be from YETI. If you are signed up for emails from YETI, you may not think twice about clicking the link in the email. However, if the email is a scam, once you click the link, you are taken to a look-a-like site where the hackers can then obtain your information if you login to your account. Hackers are constantly finding ways to try and trick us into giving over our personal information. As you are shopping this Christmas season, pay attention to where you are making purchases from. Do not click on the links in an email and be leery of sites asking for donations before doing your research on the organization. Monitor your account online or with our mobile app to ensure you are not double charged or have a purchase you didn’t authorize. Avoid holiday scams this season by shopping smart!

 

Katelyn Spivey(Marketing Director)

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