Attorney General Ashley Moody encouraged Floridians this Cyber Monday to beware of online scammers throughout the holiday season.
Moody provided several tips to help Floridians protect themselves from identity theft and other cybercrimes. The tips come as more than 60% of Americans plan to purchase a holiday item online, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Online sales have soared this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers will continue to utilize the convenience of online shopping for Cyber Monday and the remainder of the holiday shopping season,” Moody said in a news release. “However, with that convenience comes risks. Taking steps to protect yourself online this holiday season will help you avoid scams, and it will help us build a stronger, safer Florida.”
Moody urged Floridians to limit their shopping to reputable, well-known websites. She asked Floridians to consider using a credit card instead of a debit card.
“Credit cards usually offer better protection and provide more opportunity to challenge purchases before you pay your credit card bill,” the news release said.
Moody also warned against deals that seem “too good to be true.” She stressed that ads, coupons and solicitations from unknown senders can be risky, and compromise a shopper’s financial and personal information.
Earlier this month, Moody published Scams at a Glance: ‘Tis the Season, an online brochure promoting consumer protection tips for the holidays.
Prior to that, she released the 2020 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide. The guide contains additional online shopping tips as well as advisories on charity-related scams and item recalls.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending is forecasted to decrease this year by $8 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In all, consumers are estimated to spend roughly $997 on gifts and other holiday items such as decorations and food.
Shopping deals and steering clear of crowds ranked as the top two consumer priorities during the holiday season, the NRF said.