How to avoid scams when shopping this holiday season
(WENY) -- With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner lots of people will doing their holiday shopping in person and online. While online is the more convenient way to shop nowadays its important to be careful and protect yourself from falling victim to a scam with scammers number one target being online and social media.
"Look for phony advertisements or suspicious looking links, a lot of times scammers will tamper with a logo of a common company or businesses to make it look real to get your attention but it will end up taking you to a fake website," says communications director of Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, Katarina Schmieder.
When looking at websites to shop online you want to make sure you pay attention to the URL.
"If you see https the s stands for secure and the little lock symbol then it should be a safe website, if you don't see those things then you shouldn't proceed and you shouldn't enter any of your personal information."
When it comes to in person shopping gift card scams have jumped 50% from last year. When purchasing you want to watch for stickers that cover the card's barcode as well as any tears or wrinkles as these can all be suspicious signs that the card you have picked up has been tampered with.
"Sometimes scammers are able to put a bar code on the back of the existing bar code and when you go to load funds that money is then routed to a different account that the scammer controls, so if you're purchasing gift cards its a good reminder to always make sure that the back doesn't look like its been tampered with or it doesn't look like there's a sticker on the back of the bar code."
For more information on holiday shopping scam tips click here.