Law enforcement remind people to be mindful when online shopping

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The holiday shopping season kicked-off over the weekend, and online shopping is expected to be record breaking this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Forbes, $9 billion was made on Cyber Monday in 2019. With so much online shopping expected this year, Detective David Allard with Beckley Police Department said to beware of criminals trying to take advantage of the shoppers. He said to use well known websites when shopping.

“Use companies you’ve used in the past,” Allard said. “If you’re going to use a new company or if you see something do some research, vet the company make sure it’s legitimate, find out where they are from what country they are from. Another easy thing making sure the website is secure, look for the lock symbol in the address bar.”

Allard said many websites allow you to save your information, but he said to stay away from that option. He also recommended changing your password frequently.

“Don’t use really weak passwords when your setting up accounts because most of them require you to set up an account, you can go through as a guest, but most of them require you to set up an account to shop there,” Allard said. “Make sure you are using a strong password and a password specific for that site, don’t use the same password across all platforms.”

Ordering through apps on your phone also increased in popularity. Allard said to be vigilant and check your credit or debit card statements throughout the holiday season.

“Know what purchases you’ve made. Look for purchases that are out of place or not a provider you’ve shopped with,” Allard said. “Contact your credit card company have them investigate it and make sure it’s a legitimate charge.”

Allard also said once you checked out, keep your confirmation number and tracking information incase a package is stolen.

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