Westlake police warn of holiday scams

Westlake Police say this time of year, online scams are usually on the rise.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning people to look out for scams online this holiday...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning people to look out for scams online this holiday season.(Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Westlake Police Department is warning shoppers to take the time to be careful this holiday season as scams are on the rise.

Westlake police are providing the following tips from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service:

  • When shopping online, only shop with reputable vendors. Verify the URL of the website you intend to visit is correct and the data is encrypted prior to entering personal or financial data into the website. Websites that encrypt that data should begin with “https:” instead of “http:” and display a closed padlock near the address bar or at the bottom of the window, depending on the browser being used
  • Refrain from storing credit card data in online accounts or mobile applications
  • Regularly check financial accounts and look for suspicious activity such as money transfers or unusual purchases
  • Before conducting any online shopping, check the website or apps’ privacy policies, to understand how personal data is being stored and used
  • Ensure all devices are running reputable antivirus software, and conduct scans often
  • Ensure all devices are updated at all times, to include the latest patches
  • Refrain from responding to messages from unknown or suspicious senders, and avoid clicking on links or attachments within the message contents
  • Look for indications that an email or webpage is fake, such as blurry or altered images, misspelled words, poor grammar, and a lack of contact information
  • Refrain from sending sensitive information via unsecure methods such as email, text, or social media websites

The police department also emphasized: “DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS TO SEND TO ANYONE ON THE PHONE OR VIA TEXT - this is always a scam!”

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