FBI Hosts Live Twitter Chat to Discuss Holiday Scams

Promo for live Twitter chat on holiday scams for Thursday, December 15, 2016.

The holidays are not only a busy time for online shoppers but for criminals as well, which is why shoppers should be more vigilant than ever and watch out for scams designed to steal your money and personal information. The FBI hosted a live Twitter chat on Thursday, December 15, 2016 about the dangers of scams and about how to protect yourself this holiday season and all year long on the FBI’s Twitter account at twitter.com/FBI.

During the live Twitter chat, the unit chief in the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section answered questions from users on the social media platform about holiday scams and how to protect yourself online. Special Agent David Farquhar explained scams, provided links to resources and warnings about these crimes, and encouraged victims to report scams to ic3.gov.

The hour-long question-and-answer session generated questions that users sent to the Twitter hashtag #AskFBI. A transcript of the conversation can be seen below. The questioners’ identities and some Twitter-specific symbols have been removed, but the conversation can also be viewed on the FBI’s Twitter page or by using the hashtag #AskFBI.

Welcome & thanks for joining us for our #AskFBI live chat, where we’ll be talking about the dangers of online #scams & taking your questions

I’m Special Agent David Farquhar with the Financial Crimes Section, looking forward to our conversation & hanswering your Q’s using #AskFBI

Q1: Twitter user asks how to make sure transferring money to another person is secure. #AskFBI

A1: If you know & trust the person, use a well-known payment provider or your bank. #AskFBI (1/2)

A1: If you are concerned about the trustworthiness of the recipient, use a true escrow service when transferring money #AskFBI

Q2: Twitter user asks, what he should do after receiving an e-mail claiming to be from the CEO of the Bank of America #AskFBI

A2: You can look up the bank’s phone number & contact to verify the e-mail. Do not call a number or click a link from the e-mail. #AskFBI

Q3: Twitter user asks if its best to call local police or FBI if you have been scammed. #AskFBI

A3: You should report #scams to your local police & the #FBI at http://www.ic3.gov #AskFBI

#Cyber criminals don’t take the holidays off—if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. #AskFBI

Q4: Twitter user asks why someone would steal someone’s identity who is not working & file tax return using person’s information? #AskFBI

A4: Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) uses stolen ID to claim an inflated refund by providing false information #AskFBI

Learn more info about SIRF & tax return fraud https://www.ic3.gov/media/2015/150402.aspx #AskFBI

Steer clear of untrusted sites or ads offering unrealistic discounts during the #holiday season. #AskFBI #cybersecurity

Do not respond to unsolicited or spam e-mails. Beware of providing credit card info when requested through spam e-mails #AskFBI #scams

Keep up good security with your online banking—have strong, different passwords & change them frequently. #AskFBI #scams

Triangle fraud is a scheme where criminals sell through auction sites and third party marketplaces with stolen funds (1/2) #AskFBI

If you receive a product that shipped from a different site than from where you bought it, that may be triangle fraud #AskFBI (2/2)

Report triangle #fraud to the website where you bought the product, the company that shipped it, & http://www.ic3.gov #AskFBI

Be careful when downloading mobile apps. Some apps, disguised as games & offered for free, may be designed to steal personal info #AskFBI

Before downloading app from an unknown source, research company selling it & look online for third party reviews of product #AskFBI

When shopping online, products advertised at prices too good to be true could be scams or counterfeit goods https://www.iprcenter.gov/ #AskFBI

Thanks for joining me today & being part of the conversation about #scams. Want to learn more? Visit us at https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/on-the-Internet … #AskFBI