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Avoid online holiday shopping scams

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The countdown to Christmas is on, and shoppers are looking for deals. The ease of holiday shopping is at your fingertips, on your phone or desktop, but three scams are circulating this holiday season, and cyber criminals are working hard to take your money.

The Attorney General's Office wants you to avoid the Blessing Loom, a scheme on Facebook also known as the Christmas Loom or Christmas Wheel.

Officials say it is a pyramid scheme.

Participants are told they can earn up to $800 if they pay a fee and then recruit other friends to do the same. 

The Better Business Bureau warns of a new tracking scam and fake retail sites.

"It's very easy to mask these sites," said Better Business Bureau Mississippi CEO John O'Hara.

Make sure you're buying from a reputable and familiar business. Some impostors are even issuing fake shipping tracking numbers.

"You could be out of that money. You could also get your identity stolen," said O'Hara. "They get tracking numbers that say your shipments en route, but if you actually were to go to Fed Ex or UPS's website, the numbers may look alike, but they're not an active number".

Another online money grab is a fake email from Amazon.

The Amazon customer is told there is a problem processing their order and their account can't be accessed.

They are then provided a link to a page that appears to be the Amazon payment web page, but it is not.

Clicking that link can give cyber thieves your bank and credit card information.

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