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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

BBB warns NC about Cyber Monday scams, offers tips on safety

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Monday, November 27, 2023   

It is Cyber Monday, which means you will likely find great deals on your holiday shopping but the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Carolinas cautioned it is also easy to fall victim to scams.

In 2022, people in North Carolina and throughout the country reported losing a staggering $8.8 billion to scams, with a significant portion stemming from online shopping fraud.

Meredith Radford, senior communications specialist for the Better Business Bureau of the Eastern Carolinas, said there are several ways to stay safe, starting with ensuring you are on a secure website.

"Any website that doesn't have that HTTPS, where the S stands for 'secure' at the end, means it's not a secure site, and that can be a red flag," Radford pointed out. "We also see a lot of scammers making fake versions of legitimate brands."

In addition to checking a website before entering personal information, she advised against clicking on unsolicited links. She also advised against purchasing items seemingly sold out everywhere else or at significantly lower prices than usual.

Radford warned shortages in electronics and toys may lead consumers to seek out unfamiliar websites. She emphasized the need for extra caution during this season to safeguard your money. She added once your money is lost, it may not be easy to get back.

"Unfortunately, there isn't always a ton that can be done to get your money back once it's gotten taken by a scammer," Radford noted. "Because a lot of times the scammers are overseas and so they don't fall under the jurisdiction of police or anything like that, so it's really just important to look out for yourself."

Other ways to exercise caution, according to Radford, include checking for authentic reviews and using credit cards to minimize the risk of losing money.


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