MCC Daily Tribune Archive

‘Tis the Season to be Cautious

Many of us now do our shopping online during the holiday season. It certainly is much more convenient and a way to avoid long lines and impatient crowds. Unfortunately this is cyber criminals' favorite time as well.  

Fake Online Stores: Criminals setup fake online stores with a look-alike web page of a well know store. Be aware that when you’re searching for the best deals you may be directed to one of the fake websites. Some of the reasons these products may be cheap is that they may be counterfeit or stolen items or, in many cases, you will never receive anything. Here are some things you need to do to help protect yourself:

Verify the website has a legitimate mailing address and a phone number for sales or support-related questions. If the site looks suspicious, call to speak to a human.

Look for obvious warning signs like poor grammar and spelling.

Be very suspicious if a website appears to be an exact replica of a well-known website you have used in the past, but the website domain name or the name of the store is slightly different. For example you may be going to the website for all of your Amazon shopping. But be very suspicious if you were to find yourself at a website pretending to be Amazon with the URL <> .

Just because the site looks professional does not mean it’s legitimate. Take some time to investigate.Use trusted websites with a well-known reputation. You may not get as good of a deal but you will end up with a legitimate product.

Donna Pogroszewski
Communications and Network Services