How to avoid holiday shopping scams this season

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Holiday shopping is expected to reach record levels this year.

The National Retail Federation predicts spending will increase by as much as 4% from last year to more than $966 billion.

A lot of that money will come from online sales.

More than 160 million people bought gifts online between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2022.

With that number expected to grow in 2023, cybercriminals will be trying to cash in.

Good Morning Cleveland anchor Mike Brookbank talked to a local cyber security expert about what to watch for.

“Hackers taking advantage of everybody online shopping and it’s a phishing attack as they drop a line out. They’re hoping somebody takes the bait,” said Bryan Drapac, general manager of CMIT Solutions.

Consumers should be cautious about emails or text messages from an unknown sender offering deals too good to be true.

Drapac recommends using a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping online.

“All credit cards are protected by federal law, liability of $50 or more. All major credit card companies increase that liability to any purchase,” said Drapac.

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