‘Tis the season for holiday scams, warns FBI

Local News
January 01 2022 12:00 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – FBI Little Rock officials are warning holiday shoppers about aggressive and new scams used by criminals to steal your money and personal information. 

When it comes to online shopping, the FBI said to stay away from unfamiliar websites that offer deep discounts on brand-name products. 

Authorities also said don’t use websites that only accept payment through gift cards or wire transfers. 

The FBI reminds residents to be very careful with the information they give out while online shopping. 

“Never put out your date of birth, your social security number or your billing address while shopping online,” Jessica Franklin with FBI Little Rock said.

 Arkansans lost more than $16 million last year to a variety of scams, according to the FBI. 

Here are some additional steps to avoid holiday fraud schemes:

  • Before shopping online, secure all your financial accounts with strong passphrases. Additionally, the FBI recommends using different passphrases for each financial account.
  • Check bank and credit card statements routinely, especially after making online purchases and in the weeks following the holiday season.
  • Never give personal information— such as your date of birth, Social Security number, or billing addresses— to anyone you do not know.
  • Be suspicious of promotions and giveaways which request your personal information.
  • Prior to donating to any charity, verify that they have a valid Taxpayer Identification number by visiting their website or calling the charity directly.

Shoppers who suspect they’ve been victimized should immediately contact their financial institution, then call their local law enforcement agency or FBI Little Rock at (501) 221-9100. Victims of holiday scams are also encouraged to submit a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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