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FBI warns holiday shoppers about online scams

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SALT LAKE CITY – The FBI says online shopping can be a venue for scammers, and they are warning consumers to be careful this holiday season.

Agents say you really need to take a few extra seconds to research the company you are potentially doing business with before giving out your credit card info.

“…Even though it may look like a great price for a product that is a brand-name, even though you go on and click on that, it might not take you to a legitimate seller for the merchandise, but you really gotta do more research to make sure that site's reputable,” said Special Agent James Lamadrid of the FBI.

Special agent Lamadrid says the big and well-known sites like Amazon and eBay are generally quite safe. But if you see a deal that seems too good to be true on a site you are not familiar with, that's when you really want to take some extra time and check them out.

"If you are on Facebook for instance, and you see some ads that pop up on the side, some of those may be legitimate, some of those may be illegitimate, where the bad guy or the cyber actor is trying to collect your personal information,” Lamadrid said.

He also says to be wary of some of those "work from home and make extra cash for the holidays" solicitations as well. Some of them can actually be fronts for laundering money.

"If you were getting an unsolicited email from a company that says: ‘All you have to do is take the money and push it out’, that is probably illegal,” Lamadrid said. “And they will get your information as well, because they can get the potential employee’s bank account information and can steal money that way as well."

If you have questions, the FBI has a special site set up, especially if you have been a victim of online fraud. Click here for details.