FBI warns consumers to watch for fraud while shopping online

PORTLAND — The Portland division of the FBI warns consumers to beware frauds when shopping online by building a digital defense.

Fake websites are prevalent this time of year, according to a press release from the bureau.

Some things to look for that the website is fake:

The site isn’t secure. Look for the lock symbol and an “s” at the end of the “http” portion of the site’s URL. The site doesn’t have contact information for customer issues. The seller requires you to use a wire transfer or gift card to pay.

If you buy tickets to an event, make sure to go through the team or act’s website, or a reputable re-seller.

With gift cards, don’t respond to emails or texts offering discounts. You may be clicking on a phishing attack where the fraudster wants to steal your information.

When buying gift cards in a store, make sure there is a secure personal information number (PIN) on the back and that it hasn’t already been scratched off and covered up. Fraudsters often record card numbers, wait for you to activate the cards, and then cash them out.

Shop smartly and keep a list of everything you purchase online this season, who or where you bought it from, and when it should arrive. In the chaos of the season, you may not even realize that your must-have item is a no-show until it is too late.

If you have been a victim of cyber scam, file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.