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Scammers look to strike hot during holiday shopping season

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) -- For the first time in holiday history, most consumers plan to make purchases online rather than in stores.

Scammers know this, and are already hard at work to steal your holiday joy.

WDAZ's Scott Cook tells us the number one scam and how to avoid it.

For the first time in survey history by the National Retail Federation, most consumers plan to make purchases online.

With nearly sixty percent leaning away from traditional holiday shopping.

And shoppers here in Grand Forks, are in on that new trend.

You find your item, enter your card info, and a package arrives at your door.

That's how it's supposed to go but scammers may have you waiting for a package that's never coming.

They're creating fake shopping sites, promising everything you could ever been searching for.

Paige Salwei, shopper, "Went through my checking account and I noticed that I got scammed.”

Everyone we talked to has been victim to one online scam or another.

Julie Harris, shopper, "A banker in Missouri, which I've never lived in, called me one day and asked if I'm trying to open an account here becasue they stole my identity and I'm like nope."

And there's a lot at stake.

The NRF found that consumers will spend nearly nine hundred and seventy dollars this year.

Up nearly forty dollars from last year.

Some tips to make sure your hard earned cash is getting you what you want?

-Look at the top of your web browser for "https" which verifies a secure connection between your computer and the retailer's website.

-Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statement.

-Enable fraud alerts if you can.

-And put a security freeze on your card if you think you've been scammed.

Advice these women say, can make all the difference in your holiday shopping.

For the eleventh year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists.

Scammers are also selling fake cards, specifically to Target and Amazon.

Make sure to follow the tips Scott mentioned to make sure your card is legitimate.