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Keep more of your money: Online shopping alert from AARP fraud section

AARP Virginia has issued a fraud alert for online shopping scams.

Social media has become a dangerous marketplace. Scammers are great at creating slick ads and professional looking websites and for minimal cost they can force them into your feed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, $2.7 billion in reported fraud losses have been tied to social media since 2021 and 44 percent of those came from fake sales.

Look out for any online sales that are too good to be true. AARP experts say to be suspicious of anything marked down 55 percent or more. Also be wary of any product or websites that offer popular or hard-to find products at a steeply discounted price.

AARP says that “Purchasing products on these sites can lead to shoddy products being delivered or receiving nothing at all. Worse, the site could steal your payment information or upload credential-stealing malware onto your device. Links cannot be trusted – whether from a social media post, an ad, an email or a text. Shop on sites you trust, and always go directly to the online store by typing the web address into your browser.”

Take advantage of the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which is a free resource for people of all ages. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit or call its dedicated helpline at 1-877-908-3360 to speak to a fraud specialist.

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