WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (OCCIP) today released an advisory highlighting tips consumers can take to avoid becoming the victim of cyber or online scams during the holiday season. Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, cyber and fraud scams have significantly increased, and the holiday shopping season often brings an uptick in such crimes. To avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the holidays, the advisory outlines steps individuals can take to protect themselves.
This holiday season, OCCIP is urging Americans to stay vigilant, be proactive, and respond quickly if you are targeted by a scammer or fraud.
“Consumers should remember: You are in control. Don’t feel rushed into making a purchase or sending money,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for OCCIP Todd Conklin. “If you are uncomfortable or feeling pushed, stop. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Take time to think, research, and talk to someone you trust. Don’t be pressured to purchase an item or pay for a service quickly. Legitimate businesses and people will give you time to decide.”
In the advisory, OCCIP details several tips consumers should follow to avoid being scammed. The advisory also provides steps victims of fraud can take to attempt to mitigate their damages and losses.
A copy of the OCCIP advisory can be found here. Additionally, fraud may be reported at the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) may be found here.