Consumers Warned Against Cyber Scams This Holiday Shopping Season

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (OCCIP) has warned consumers to remain alert against cyber or online scams this holiday shopping season.

OCCIP released an advisory highlighting tips consumers can take to avoid becoming the victim of cyber or online scams.

This year the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has enabled cybercriminals to automate malicious phishing attacks. As cybercriminals leverage AI to learn and adapt in real-time, consumers must remain vigilant and take proactive measures, especially during the holidays which often brings an uptick in crimes, OCCIP said.

To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, the advisory provides steps individuals can take to protect themselves.

OCCIP urged Americans to stay vigilant, be proactive, and respond quickly if they are targeted by a scammer or fraud.

“Every year cybercriminals are getting more creative to take advantage of consumers, and this year is no different with the rise of AI,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for OCCIP Todd Conklin. “If an online deal looks 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.

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