Protect yourself from fraud this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, consumers aren’t the only ones in the online marketplace. Scammers often pose as real companies online (or make up fake ones) to try to obtain money or personal information, using fake ads or even a real company’s logo to look legit.

The Federal Trade Commission recently offered advice on how to avoid falling victim to fraud while online shopping:

  • Pay by credit card: if you’re charged twice, billed for something you never got, or get a wrong or damaged item, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.
  • Check out the company: before you buy, search online for the company’s name along with words like “scam” or “fraud” to see what issues others might have had.
  • Keep records: Keep track of the company’s name and website, any receipts or bank statements showing what you paid, and when they said they’d ship your item.

And if you notice a scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Visit the FTC online for more tips and information.

About Mark Schaaf

Mark is an associate manager of communications for TDS Telecom. Prior to TDS, he worked for 10 years as a journalist and four years in local government. When he's not writing blogs, you might find him at a live music venue, bike trail or baseball stadium. Mark lives in Milwaukee with Jordan and Pippin (his fiancé and cat -- not the Chicago Bulls legends).

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