EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Pennsylvanians are asked to watch out for online scams in the coming days and weeks.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a warning for several types of scams to be on the lookout for and ways to protect yourself. The scams Shapiro alerted Pennsylvanians to be careful of include: email and text phishing, delivery stealing, credit card skimming, romance scams, online pet scams, online pop-up advertisements, and online marketplace deals.
Email and text phishing are when you get a message directing you to enter personal information on a fraudulent website. To avoid stolen packages, try to make arrangements with a neighbor to hold onto the package until you can pick it up, or ask about a delivery at your workplace.
Instead of using a credit or debit card, use a payment app on your phone to avoid credit card skimming at the payment kiosk. If you don’t have a smartphone that allows you to do that, pay attention to your bank statements.
Romance scams are something that appears to be from a serious relationship, asking you to pay for plane tickets, customs fees, or visas. Shapiro says scammers may also appear to send money to the victim’s checking account, but it’s fake.
Scams involving pets include scammers posing as online retailers charging money for the animal and airline and transport fees. Online pop-up ads make you think you’ve won a prize. Don’t click on the link, as it may contain a virus.
When managing online marketplace deals, be aware of people promising deals on peer-to-peer apps and deals that offer hard-to-find popular gift items.
The attorney general’s office says there are ways to protect yourself against these types of scams:
- Set up email or text alerts with your credit card company or bank, so you’ll be alerted quickly to all purchases.
- Install the latest security updates and run virus scans regularly on your computer or mobile device.
- Never use your home’s smart device, such as Alexa, Siri, or Google Home, to find a customer support number for any company, and have the system dial it for you. Go directly to the company’s website, call the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or the number on your billing statement.
- Never pay with a prepaid gift card, CashApp, or Venmo or wire someone money when you’re trying to buy a gift online. Use your credit card, not a debit card, for better protection.