If you're one of the many holiday shoppers who hopped online Monday looking for “Cyber Monday” deals, you may want to send a big thank you to a group of federal special agents in Utah. They helped shut down a series of fake websites using the holiday to steal your money.
"They were responsible for 300 seizures of domains, these domain names," said Andrew Munoz, Spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Utah agents were part of one of five offices with Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE, who helped shut down 297 counterfeit sites, and a total of 706 worldwide. A spokesperson for ICE said the bootleg websites were trying to sell everything from knockoff DVDs to fake NFL jerseys. In the end the customer gets bad deal on a bogus product.
"And those are the lucky consumers, sometimes they don't even get the product, the criminals will take the money and run," said Munoz.
Although ICE agents are pleased to shut these websites down, they know there are a lot more out there. They warn online shoppers to take caution.
"The individuals who sell counterfeit merchandise know exactly what they're doing, they create these sights to look slick; if looks too good to be true it probably is," said Munoz.
There are a couple things you can do to avoid spending your money in the wrong place. One online report from U.S. News and World Report said you should avoid online shopping on your phone, security there isn't as strong. And, when you do shop, try to stick to major retailer websites that you know and trust.
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