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The FBI has urged people to be careful with online holiday shopping as they expect an increasing number of scams this year due to alleged shortages of goods and the pandemic.

The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 17,000 complaints about undelivered goods during the holiday season in 2020, representing a total loss of $ 53 million. This year the number could be even higher, due to the alleged shortage of goods and the ongoing pandemic.

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Tactics to lure online shoppers, according to the Bureau, include discounts that seem too good to be true, such as offering hard-to-find items and unrealistic discounts, as well as social media posts that appear to have been shared by someone you know. . This can lead to money loss, identity theft, and the theft of financial information through phishing and web skimming attacks.

On Tuesday, the FBI also warned the online shopping public about branded phishing emails that can lead to the theft of user credentials, payment details and other personal information. Among the brands used for these phishing emails, almost half appear as Microsoft (45%), followed by DHL (26%), Amazon (11%), BestBuy (4%) and Google (3%), according to a report by Check Point Software on April, May and June 2021.

The total number of identity theft reports in 2020 was 1.4 million, twice as many as in 2019, according to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this year.

The FBI has encouraged constant vigilance and shared advice on how to protect yourself from online shopping scams. These tips include being careful with sellers who only accept virtual currency, never use public Wi-Fi to buy things, and if a deal sounds too good to be true, chances are good that it is. this is a scam.

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