ROUND ROCK, Texas - With the holiday season approaching, online criminals are already making their moves. "Just know that one slip or one direction down a dark path could lead to ID theft or money loss," said Jason Meza the regional director for the Better Business Bureau.
Meza said now is the time online shoppers need to keep an eye out. "The risk of online purchases and scams goes up dramatically around the holidays because everybody’s making those purchases."
As time goes on Meza said the tactics of these criminals are getting more creative.
In a recent study by the BBB, they found the age group 18 to 24 fell victim to these online schemes the most stead of any other age group. "The age-old saying that older consumers or senior consumers fall victim to scams more than any other age group is actually incorrect at this point so everybody is vulnerable. Anybody who shops online is a target," said Meza.
Before you click purchase on your online shopping cart there are a few things to keep in mind.
Tips from the BBB:
- Don’t shop on price alone
- Beware of fake websites
- Use secure payment methods
- Watch for shipping fraud
It’s not just consumers who need to be cautious, the cyber security experts at Technology Pointe in Round Rock said businesses also need to be on the lookout.
"You’re never too small to be attacked, you see these big guys in the news and they get attacked they announce it and it’s a huge deal. Maybe services are impacted or customers are impacted but for a smaller business can you afford to be down for a week or 2 weeks," said Philip Counts the service manager at Technology Pointe.
Counts said the holidays can be an inconvenient time for businesses to be hacked which is why he recommends they invest in proper cyber security, This way they can operate without fear heading into the busy months.