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‘Tis the Season For Online Scams

December 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - Shopping online is extremely popular, especially in this gift-buying season, but it pays to take some simple steps to make sure you're not buying more than you bargained for.

Abby Kuzma, director of consumer protection for the Indiana Attorney General's office, urges some basic precautions.

"You want to make sure you're using a secure site. You want to make sure that you're doing the purchasing in a place that is safe. For example, you don't want to do purchasing, using your financial information, in Starbucks or a place where it's an open Internet scenario."

Kuzma says to beware of clicking on links in emails that take you to stores. That link could end up taking you to a fake website set up to take your credit card information.

June Lyle, state director of the Indiana AARP, says shopping on-line is easy, but be careful that you're on a legitimate store's website - there are copycat sites out there - and make sure it's secure...

"Only use your credit card online if the web page address starts with HTTPS - not just HTTP - because the "S" stands for secure."

Kuzma says, when you're finalizing your purchase online, some companies have boxes you need to uncheck.

"If you inadvertently check them, it might indicate that you purchased something you don't intend to. For example, there might be a box that says you would like a subscription to a particular magazine or some other service that you didn't realize you were buying."

Lyle says you can learn about the latest holiday hoaxes by visiting their website.

"AARP.org/money site. There's always good information there on scams, including some information about the top scams for 2012."

That site again is aarp.org

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN