What to look out for when you shop online.

Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the holidays.  Online fraud goes up 31% during the holiday shopping season.  Here are some things you should watch out for:

Gift card scams:  Beward of gift cards from online exchanges at deep discounts.  Buy directly from a retailer or reputable seller like Amazone.

If you see a brand name at a 70% discount, chances are they're trying to sell you a knockoff.  If you can't afford what the retailer is selling an item for, shop for something else.

Searching for coupon codes and discounts online is smart, but if a site asks you to register and provide person info, it's probably a scam.  Sites like RetailMeNot provide codes without any personal info, and they're safe to use.

Buy online and pick up in store:  Make sure the retailer requires ID to pick up your item.  Otherwise, scammers can intercept your order and pick an item up before you get there.  Make sure the retailer has a policy that takes full responsibility in case this happens.

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