FBI warning about shopping scam

FBI warning about shopping scam

With many of us staying home these days while practicing social distancing, a lot of us will be ordering items online so we can avoid the crowds at stores. As can be expected, scammers are trying to take advantage of this situation too. The most concerning part is that this particular scam can affect legitimate retail sites and gives no indication that your information is at risk. This is why the FBI is warning consumers to keep an eye on their billing statements to make sure there are no unwarranted charges on your statements.

According to the FBI, in an attack known as e-skimming, cybercriminals are injecting code into the websites of retailers. This code then allows the scammers to copy the information on your credit or debit card. With the way e-skimming works, neither the retailer not the customer will know that they’ve been scammed until it’s too late. The scammers will then sell the card information online to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, there is no way to detect if the retail site you’re using has been infected by the e-skimming code.

While these types of attacks are usually caught by retailers within a few days there are steps you can take to protect your information. One of the ways is only using a credit card online as credit cards have better fraud protection than most debit cards. Your bank may also be able to provide you with temporary one-time card numbers that you can use once and won’t work when copied. If your bank does not provide this service there are legitimate online platforms that can provide this service.

While the odds of e-skimming happening to you are small, they’re not zero. It’s better to have the protection and not need it than needing it and not having it.