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Keep yourself safe while shopping online for holiday gifts

With Christmas getting closer, people are shopping online more for gifts, but it’s important to remember to stay safe from scams.

Shopping online has given scammers a whole world of opportunity when stealing money from unsuspecting consumers.

Rochester First spoke with CPA Garrett Wagner, who can give tips on how to stay safe when shopping online for the holiday season.


One way to stay safe is to remember best practices. Hackers aren’t sophisticated, according to Wagner. They want you to make a mistake and the most common way to get someone to do that is by phishing.

Phishing is the easiest way for scammers to get information

Phishing is when an email or text is sent and it looks real but isn’t. It could be a fake email from your bank that asks you to sign into your account or someone you know asking you for money.

While the names may look real, if you look closer at the email you could see it isn’t legitimate. They want you to click the links or provide your information.

It’s best to not click on the links, because the scammers want you to make the mistake of clicking in to provide personal information that can let them steal your identity.


Another way scammers try to get you is by offering to buy something you’re selling. If their profile is new or has little information, it’s best to not do business with them.

The same goes for buying something, never send cash or pay ahead of time. They may also tell you they’re sending an email for you to send money that way, don’t do it.

Sometimes bad grammar or things being spelled wrong also give away the fact that’s a scam. This is especially true from a place like a bank.

It’s important to pay attention to these things with the holiday and spending season here.

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