Scammers don’t take a holiday break; Tips for making safe purchases

If you’re making online purchases this holiday season, fraud prevention experts say scammers keep finding ways to exploit people, so it’s best not to rush your shopping so you don’t miss the warning signs.

Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support at A-A-R-P, says fake social-media ads are a major concern this year. She says supply-chain issues could prompt people to bypass trusted companies when doing internet searches.

“And they’re finding these websites that look legitimate, but they’re not. So again, take the name of the company, put it in a search engine, and do your research.”

She says as people quickly scroll through online ads, they might not do enough vetting to make sure the company behind an ad is real. Nofziger says you should never feel ashamed about falling victim to a scam – and instead, take action.

“These are good criminals that are targeting you to steal your money. You should be mad; you should be empowered to report it.”

One way to research an unfamiliar company is by typing its name and the words ‘review,’ ‘scam’ and ‘complaints’ into a search engine and see what results pop up.

If you’re unsure how to investigate an online ad or how to report a scam, South Dakota Attorney General’s office consumer protection director Jody…

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