There a lot of great deals out there at this time of year…and a lot of scams, too.

Who Is It Targeting: Holiday shoppers

What It Is: “Incredible” holiday shopping deals and ads

What Are They After: There are a lot of ways that internet ads can play out for the scammer. Some of the mildest forms of fraudulent behavior involve announcing amazing internet specials, hoping you’ll click the ad in order to generate some revenue for the person who posted it. It’s harmless, but an annoying waste of time when you discover the item in question isn’t really a great deal.

But there is another side to malicious advertising, and that’s the ability to steal personal information, install harmful software on your computer or network, or otherwise cause you harm.

How You Can Avoid It:

  • Always verify the company or item that the ad is for before you click, just in case it’s an imposter ad.
  • Make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software are up-to-date before you shop online.
  • Remember the old adage about something being too good to be true, especially if you find it on the internet.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from