SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — FBI Springfield is warning the public to be vigilant during the holidays to avoid scams designed to steal their money and personal information.

The two most prevalent holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes. FBI Springfield said a non-delivery scam is when a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received. On the other hand, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.

“Remembering the simple adage ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,’ can go a long way in saving consumers from becoming victims,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Scammers are eager to take advantage of the increase in online shopping that comes with the holiday season.”

FBI Springfield shared some helpful tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Check your credit card statement routinely.
  • If purchasing merchandise online, ensure it is from a reputable source.
  • Don’t trust a site with your credit card information just because it claims to be secure.
  • Be cognizant of web page addresses that look like familiar sites but are slightly different.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited emails.
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in email messages that ask for personal information.
  • Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Only donate to known and trusted charities.
  • Secure credit card accounts with strong passwords or passphrases.
  • Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
  • Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products for employment.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of the country.

More information on holiday scams can be found here.