(WWBT/WXIX) - The holiday shopping season is in full swing with many of you shopping online this week.
Scammers continue to keep getting sneakier to try to rip you off online!
A new report shows that online fraud is booming and scammers are increasingly turning to sites like Instagram to reach their targets.
IntSigns, an eCommerce fraud prevention company, studied data on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent online purchases. They found a nearly 300 percent spike in the number of phony retail websites this past year alone. The lead researcher said Instagram is now one of the top ways for scammers to reach their victims, with Facebook and Snapchat also on the list.
The fraud could look like an ad you normally click on, but it may be just slightly off a legit site.
When you put in your name and credit card information, they steal that number and run up charges as fast as they can. If you’ve used your credit card, the company should cover any fraudulent charges, but if you used your debit card, it could take days or even weeks for the bank to wrap up its investigation, and return that money to your account.
Instagram says it reviews millions of ads each week and pulls the phony ones it finds.
To stay safe, never click on an ad or retailer’s link on a social media site.
Instead if you see something you like, go to a trusted retail site yourself and look for that item.