During the holiday season, hackers, scammers, and online thieves are particularly active. As you browse the internet in search of the perfect gifts and Cyber Monday bargains, hackers are on the lookout to exploit unsuspecting shoppers.

The holiday season is a prime time for hackers, scammers, and online thieves. While millions of Americans will be online looking for the best gifts and Cyber Monday deals, hackers will be looking to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers by searching for weaknesses in their devices or internet connections or attempting to extract personal and financial information through fake websites or charities.

The best defense against these threats is awareness. Here are a few simple steps we all can take to be more secure before and after we shop.

What to do if you fall victim to a scam?

The FBI recommends taking the following actions if you find you’ve been victimized by an online scam:

  • Contact your financial institution immediately after discovering any fraudulent or suspicious activity and request they stop or reverse the transactions.
  • Request your financial institution contact the corresponding financial institution where the fraudulent or suspicious transfer was sent.
  • Report the activity to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov, regardless of the dollar loss, documenting all relevant information in the complaint.

You can also report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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