As the holiday shopping season officially gets underway, the FBI is warning shoppers to be aware of the increasingly aggressive techniques of cyber criminals who want to steal your (members') money and your personal information.

For example, watch out for online shopping scams; criminals often scheme to defraud victims by offering too-good-to-be-true deals, like brand name merchandise at extremely low discounts or gift cards as an incentive to buy a product. Beware of social media scams, including posts on social media sites that offer vouchers or gift cards or that pose as holiday promotions or contests. Always be careful when downloading mobile applications on your smartphone; some apps, disguised as games and offered for free, maybe be designed to steal personal information. And if you're in need of extra cash this time of year, watch out for websites and online postings offering work you can do from home; you may actually become the victim of an advance fee, counterfeit, or pyramid scheme, or become an unknowing participant in criminal activity


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