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Deals That Aren’t Deals

Online shopping is quick and easy but consumers need to be cautious of giving too much personal information on websites.

Online shopping is quick and easy but consumers need to be cautious of giving too much personal information on risky websites.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, there are many deals on this year’s hottest gifts. However, there are also many deals that are just too good to be true, and in most cases, are. Here are three major “deals” Sunset Bank wants you to watch out for while shopping this month:

  • Bogus gift card offers – Gift cards are an easy gift for the “hard-to-shop-for” people on your list. However, they are also becoming one of the biggest holiday shopping scams. Many of these scammers will send you an e-mail or text saying you have qualified for a discounted gift card. However, when you try to redeem the offer, it takes you to a website that asks for personal information, giving hackers access to your bank account or credit line. Be wary of sites that offer gift cards at deeply discounted prices.
  • Too good to be true offers – The better the deal, the more cautious you need to be. The false websites that offer these awesome deals often don’t stock any merchandise to begin with. When you enter your debit or credit card information and your address on the checkout page, these crooks have successfully gained access to your bank account and/or credit line. Not every site offering a great deal is legitimate. It is always wise to stick with reputable sites that you have used before.
  • Suspicious links on social media – No doubt, you have seen great deals on social media that may be coming from shady operators. Never click on these links! If it is from someone you know, ask him or her directly if they actually sent it. Another giveaway is a misspelling in an offer (for example, “Targget,”” Wal Marl” or “Lows”). Also, be wary of emails saying that a package has been delivered for something you never ordered.

Sunset Bank wants to help protect you from online scams and fraud. It is important to stick to well-known sites, don’t click on suspicious links, and don’t give out a lot of personal information. Remember these tips for a safer, more secure, holiday season!