Online Shoppers Encounter Fraud - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Online Shoppers Encounter Fraud

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We're just a couple of days away from Black Friday, which marks the start of the holiday shopping season.  And, for many, that means they'll be shopping online.  But, with all those good deals comes the risk of getting ripped off if you're not careful.

Instead of hitting the mall on Black Friday, many Americans will hold out for Cyber Monday to get a jump start on their holiday shopping. In the past few years, the Monday following Black Friday has been gaining popularity among consumers. 

"I think there's some emotional shopping going on this time of year," says card coordinator Dian Smith, Prairie Federal Credit Union.  "People get kind of caught up in being excited that you found that one item that one person wanted, so you're willing to go out to websites to shop for it instead of using, you know, I think caution goes out the door just a little bit during the holiday season."

But, typically during December and January, the most fraud occurs.  So, there are a few things consumers need to be aware of, so they don't become the next victim of fraud. 

"When you're going to a website to make a purchase, use a legitimate website as much as possible," says Smith.

Typically, if the website is legitimate, the business will say they are verified by Visa, MasterCard, or Veri Sign.

Another thing you need to know when you're doing online shopping for the holidays is using extra caution when you're entering coupon codes.

"As much as possible, don't follow a link that's been emailed to you.  Most of them will have a coupon or a number on them or a code that you should be able to go right to the website yourself and enter in that code or coupon number and they should accept that on that website then," says Smith.

If anything suspicious or unusual shows up on your bank statement, you should contact your financial institution immediately to close the card.

Be your first line of defense and keep your personal information up-to-date with your financial institution.  This includes your address, phone number, and email address.  Once again, if your card information is stolen, contact your financial institution immediately.

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