Officials urge shoppers to be careful shopping online this holiday season – CBS Baltimore

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) – While this is the holiday season for online shopping deals, it’s also a time of year when internet scammers are getting more active and the FBI Baltimore wants shoppers to be careful.

“It is very important that consumers are aware of all the potential frauds and scams that exist as we have done,” said Keith Custer, special agent for surveillance at the FBI field office in Baltimore.

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Maryland ranked tenth in the country last year in the number of suspected fraud victims. Consumers have lost over $ 62 million and fraud is becoming more common. So what can you do to avoid falling victim to these scams?

Special Surveillance Agent Keith Custer says he is skeptical when shopping online and verifies the legitimacy of the websites you shop on. “There are a lot of crooks and scammers who are very skillful,” he said.

Do not click on links from unknown sites that you do not recognize. Beware of sellers who demand payment by gift cards and use a credit card to dispute purchases if you need to – and respect sellers you know.

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“There have been so many online thefts and other forms of online vandalism that I only use online services that I am familiar with,” said Richard Foster.

Other tips include avoiding ads with misspelled words. Be careful when dealing with sellers from outside the country and watch out for extremely low prices.

“If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Custer added.

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