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Expert shares tips to avoid holiday scams

24% of shoppers reported being a victim of identity theft or fraud during the holidays so far this year.

TEXAS, USA — The number of holiday scams is growing more and more each year.

In 2022 24% of shoppers reported being a victim of identity theft or fraud during the holidays, which is double the amount compared to last year.

Cyber security expert Adam Levin has 30 years of security experience and has a few ways to protect yourself from becoming a criminals next victim.

"It's gotten worse and worse and worse and it's why people need to be on their guard. The key things are, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research, use a credit card, not a debit card, make sure you use logged in strong passwords that you do not share across universal websites. Also, do not simply open every link or attachments that you receive. Do not authenticate yourself to someone who contact you," Levin explained. 

In addition to that, monitoring your accounts and setting up transaction alerts can help prevent a ruined holiday.

Levin has a few more tips to remember when holiday shopping:

  • Set up transaction alerts 

  • Monitor your accounts

  • Look for the padlock

  • Don’t click delivery notification links

  • Spot fake e-commerce site like a cybersecurity pro

  • Don’t use public WiFi

But if the worst still happens, Levin says there are a few ways to fix things.

"Many institutions have a program that will get you through an identity incident. you just have to know that they're offering it and you have to make sure that you were enrolled in it. So check with your insurance agent in financial services rep, or the human resources department where you work and say, do you have a program that will help me if i run into an identity incident."

Here in Central Texas, the Belton Police Department have what's called a 'Safe Internet Exchange Zone'. It allows buyers and sellers to safely exchange items and payments in a 24 hour surveillance area during the holiday season.

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