Friday, August 1, 2014

News
Shopping Scams On The Rise During Holiday Season
By Ashley Thompson


If you have an email address or a cell phone, chances are you've received some sort of spam.

And around the holidays, cyber criminals are trying their hardest to make you a victim of their cyber crime.

'You've been selected, you've won, you're entry has been chosen.' If you've heard or seen phrases like this in a text message, email or phone call - someone may have been trying to scam you out of money. During the holidays, people will receive more messages telling them they've won something.

"It says you've been picked in a prize drawing. You've won $100, stuff like that," says student Elliot Barnes.

But more often than not, you haven't won anything at all. These messages are coming from opportunists using technology to commit crimes.

"They want your identity or access to your account or just straight up for you to send money. There's so many scams and a scam artist is going to send it out to as many people as possible. If he gets 1% of the reply back, he's made money," says Sgt. Mark Davis.

To avoid being scammed during the holidays Sgt. Davis says it's best not to sign up for every offer or giveaway and to use a credit card when making online purchases since they often have better procedures to cover loss.

"I suggest you shop from a reputable online store front to do that. Also, if you have a question about a business, If you've never heard of them before and they just have offers that are so good- maybe too good to be true. Do a little research and see what others are saying," says Davis.

And as far as those messages and phone calls go...

"It's someone trying to get information about your banking account or get you to send them more money and you can discount those and just delete them," he says.

To report harassing text messages or phone calls you can contact:

www.ic3.gov

www.snopes.com