Holiday warning: Fake shopping sites - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Holiday warning: Fake shopping sites

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Online scammers are taking advantage of the large number of consumers shopping online this holiday season.

According to the Better Business Bureau, online shopping scams peak in December. The average loss is $101 and the most susceptible to this kind of scam are young women. 

Scammers will make a site that mimics a well-known brand and try to fool shoppers into buying substandard goods or stealing money altogether.

Make sure you are not on a fake site by checking the URL, there should be a lock symbol and an "S" after "HTTP" so you know it is secure.

If a seller asks you to pay with a gift card or wire transfer, that is a big red flag. 

Use a credit card for the most protection, and never click on links sent through unsolicited messages on social media, email or text.

Also, keep track of online purchases and deliveries.

There's an email scam that's common this time of year. The email will look like it's from a shipping company with a tracking number, but when consumers click the link, it brings them to a malicious website or even starts downloading malware.

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