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Avoid online shopping scams with these tips

Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 05, 2019

PHOENIX — Holiday shopping is in full gear, and scammers are out to steal your holiday cheer.

From non-delivery and non-payment to phishing for your information, the FBI says these are the easiest ways scammers are targeting you online during the holiday season.

A non-delivery scam is when you pay for something and it never shows up. A non-payment scam is the opposite. You sell something and never get paid.

Protect yourself.

  • Check online reviews and complaints through sites like BBB.Org or RipOffReport.Com
  • Stick with sites you know
  • If selling, check the buyer's ratings and ask for payment upfront
  • If buying, avoid sellers who post items under one name, but ask you to pay to someone else
  • Be cautious if the seller asks you to send money through a wire transfer, gift cards, a prepaid credit card or even a bank to bank transfer - It's almost impossible to recover the money.
  • Use a credit card - By law, you can dispute charges up to 60 days after purchase and get a response in 30 days. Debit cards do not have that protection.
  • Be aware of misspellings, they may be a sign your not dealing with a legit company - To be safe type a company's website into your browser versus clicking on a link.

If you do get scammed, contact your bank immediately to stop payment. Also, file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Division.