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How to Avoid Online Scams

(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

You’re smart, you’ve decided that being trampled isn’t worth saving a few bucks at the mall, so you’re staying home in your nice, warm house and shopping online instead this weekend.

But beware, because the scammers are one step ahead of you.

I found 4 tips on how to avoid these scams, according to

1)  Email Scams

This is the #1 choice of scam artists, and to be safe, always spot fake links by using “the hover trick” to see if the displayed link matches the actual link.

2)  Fake Shopping Websites

These are so clever that they even sometimes get listed in Google searches.

One way to not get scammed with these bogus websites?

Website reputation tools such as Trend Micro’s Site Safety Center allow you to copy and paste any web address in for a quick check of its reputation.

3)  Scams on social media networks

Scammers sometimes use compromised social accounts to spread scams via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. because they know you are more likely to fall for the scam if it looks like it came from one of your friends.

Install a web add-on from Web of Trust that will will display a colored circle next to links in social media to help alert you of a potential scam link.

4)  Mobile Scams

Trend Micro has a free mobile security app for Android users and iOS (Apple) users to alert you to suspicious sites.

Somebody’s always looking for a way to rip us off.

Remember the hoodlums in The Kinks song, “Father Christmas”?

At least they were poor kids who really needed the cash. 😀

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