Consumer Alert: Warnings about shopping online this holiday seas - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Consumer Alert: Warnings about shopping online this holiday season

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Millions of Americans will do some shopping online for the holidays, but there is growing concern about hackers accessing personal information – either electronically or over the phone.

As millions head to cyber-space to complete their purchases, high-tech criminals are on the hunt for their personal and financial information that consumers are often freely providing online.

The IRS, along with other organizations, warned consumers to take steps to protect themselves from identity theft and tax refund scams – especially with tax season only a few months away.

That means people should be aware of official-sounding phone calls from scam artists posing as government employees.

Cyber criminals are also relying more on urgent sounding emails to target their victims. Sometimes, hacking into a person’s account with lax security, and using that to access other user accounts – meaning anyone is potentially vulnerable.

Experts advice everyone to review their passwords and change them if they are too obvious or outdated. Also, experts advice to be wary of free WIFI and information provided via a public internet connection – which can easily be intercepted.

To learn more about how to spot and avoid tax refund scams visit the IRS website.

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