Avoiding Scammers This Holiday Season

PHOTO: Man about to enter his credit card information online. University of Florida.

We are ordering more online nowadays. Broader selection, convenience of shopping from the couch, and increasingly no-charge shipping and returns makes online shopping more attractive than going to an uninspiring mall. Know who else finds online shopping very attractive? Scammers.

Scammers can get a lot of information by following the breadcrumb trails we leave when searching online. (Another reason to clear cache and cookies.) This allows them to create very realistic ways to scam you, including:

Order Confirmation Scams. These are unexpected calls, texts, or emails that often refer to an unauthorized purchase and ask you to act urgently to confirm or cancel the purchase. Scammers try to convince you to confirm payment method (such as providing your credit card number) or your bank account number, or to install malicious software onto your computer/device.

Tech Support Scams. Scammers create fake websites and then text you the URL, claiming to provide tech support for your recently purchased devices. Customers who visit these pages can fall for schemes like paying for a support contract, getting a device repaired, or purchasing of accessories that will never arrive.

UFIT has additional information online to help you identify online scams. Keep your personally identifying information and your money safe, Gators!