Everyone knows the Grinch, that mean, green guy who tried to steal Christmas away from Whoville. However, a more modern day version might be putting a damper on this Holiday season financially: online shopping scams. Since the start of the internet, hackers and scammers from around the globe have had an easier time tricking people than ever before. Online marketplaces can turn into beacons for cybercriminals, making you vulnerable and susceptible to their scams.

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. - Jonathan Hunter, WNYT News Channel 13

News Channel 13 reached out to international financial crime expert J. Michael Skiba for some insight. In the early 2000's, he spent 10 years as a criminal justice professor at Albany Law School. Since then, he has founded and grown his own company known as the Dr. Fraud Training Group, which focuses on "consulting, training, and speaking on financial crime, cybercrime and professional development" (DrFraud.org). Dr. Skiba shared what to be on the lookout for when shopping online. Pay attention, following his advice might just prevent a scammer from taking your hard earned money...

Expert Tips for Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

In order to avoid a scammer getting the better of you, check out the following red flags to look out for as well as preventative measures to take from Dr. Skiba, AKA Dr. Fraud himself:

To hear more of Dr. Fraud's tips, check out his YouTube channel. Here, you'll see him speak on various news segments in addition to his show "Dr. Fraud TV- What the Fraud" where he and his team investigate and shed some light on scams happening around the world.

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