Be aware of online shopping scams this holiday season

It’s the holiday season. This means people are going online trying to find the best deals possible ahead of Christmas. However, this also means scammers are going online trying to take your money.

J. Michael Skiba is an international financial crime expert. He is also known as “Dr. Fraud.” He has heard from people locally who say they are seeing scams online.

There are a lot of scams on the marketplace from both the buyer and seller perspective. There have been cases where people have bought items online that weren’t real. Skiba says there are some red flags you need to pay attention to.

Red Flags

-First, if a person is trying to take you out of the actual site to make the purchase, that can mean it is a potential scam.

-Second, if the seller is asking for any type of payment using a gift card, that is a red flag.

-Third, you also want to pay attention to any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

Things You Can Do

-Pay attention to the seller’s profile. If the profile is dry, meaning they don’t have any photos or friends, this may be an indicator that the profile is fake.

-If you see an image of an item, google the picture to see what pops up.

-It’s a safer bet when you go to legitimate websites like, or