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Abilene PD warns citizens of online scams during holiday season

The three most common scams are conducted by text messages, online marketplaces and prizes or sweepstakes
Credit: Abilene Police Department

ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Police Department Fraud and Cyber Crimes is reminding residents to be aware of online scams during the holiday season.

According to an APD press release, the three common online scams that seem to increase during the holiday season are done by text messages,  online marketplaces and those involving prizes or sweepstakes.

Text message scams are where a text message is sent for the person to "check a status update" on Facebook or to notify them of a delay in a package they ordered. The messages usually include a link that will require login information to be entered.

Clicking on the link usually does not do any harm, however, it is when login information is entered that online security is breached, according to APD. Always use the official website to enter login information.

Online marketplace scams are where people offer services or labor but ask the consumer to use a specific app to pay for the service or labor upfront. 

Asking questions is the best defense against this type of scam, according to APD. If the responses are not upfront or it seems information is withheld, it is probably not legitimate.

Scams involving prizes or sweepstakes are where people are told if they send money, gift cards or money wires they will be compensated double the amount or more, according to APD. 

People are asked to purchase Apple or Google gift cards as payments for the winning and to send the card numbers for verification. 

APD is reminding residents if it's too good to be true, it probably is.