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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel shares how to avoid online scams this holiday season

Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, you’re bound to run into a few scams while you shop online.

“It gets worse every year, there’s no question about it,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “We know that most Michiganders will do the bulk of their shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and of course, with a resurgence of COVID, more people than ever are going to be shopping online.”

Then, there’s Giving Tuesday, where people donate to a charity of their choice online.

“Unfortunately, not every charity is reputable or is even real,” Nessel said.

She has online resources that offer pointers on how to protect your money, identity and recognize a scam before it’s too late.

The biggest tip is to use a credit card not a debit card.

“If you use a credit card, you do have the opportunity to file a complaint and to get that money back,” Nessel said. “If you use a debit card or if you’re using any other type of payment mechanism, you might not be able to get your money back as quickly or as easily.”


Other tips include:

  • Update your antivirus software on your phone or computer

  • Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi

  • Avoid retailers you haven’t heard of

  • Know the retailer’s shipping and refund policies

  • Have a specific email for online shopping


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