How to ensure your digital Christmas shopping experience is safe, merry and bright

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Last year, Americans logged on to buy nearly 94 billion dollars' worth of goods during the holidays.

And experts expect up to a 20 percent jump this year.

At the same time, online fraud attempts increased more than 20 percent last year.

And scammers keep getting better.

"I shop online all the time, um, I would say at least once a day," said Alison Chaltas.

Alison Chaltas is an executive and busy wife and mom. So, when it comes to shopping, it is all about the click-and-buy.

Chaltas said, "I do all of my clothing shopping online, um, all my gift shopping online."

As e-commerce keeps growing as a percentage of overall retail sales experts say scammers are also hard at work to catch you off guard.

The trend is for fraudsters to take existing scams and make them harder to detect.

Such as fake puppy postings.

Links promising 'must-have' items for prices well below market value.

Founder of, Sorin Mihailovici said, "So, what scammers do, they go on, on social media platforms. They advertise great products that are real products only cheaper and they would send them to their own duplicate sites."

The key tip while shopping: look up at the URL and make sure it starts with HTTPS.

"So, if they don't have that if the duplicate site doesn't have the https and it only has HTTP, you can rest assured that that's a scam," explained Mihailovici.

Also, look at reviews of a site before buying but do not depend on testimonials on the site itself because those can be fake too.

Alison says she always does her homework before buying.

"I also kind of count on my credit card provider to be an extra level of security," Chaltas said.

Experts also warn the old iTunes gift cards scam is still out there.

If you receive an email with a receipt for a gift card you never sent and it gives you a link to cancel, do not click on the link!

It likely takes users to a fake website that asks for personal information.

And, of course never shop on public Wi-Fi, where your information can be easily accessed.
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