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FBI warns of holiday shopping scams

They have several tips to help shoppers avoid getting scammed.

MIDLAND, Texas —

The holidays are here, and that means shopping is too. The FBI is warning this is the prime time for people to get scammed.

Last year, over 17,000 people did not get the gifts they thought they were ordering, and $53 million was lost from scams.

So, what can you do to make sure you don't get scammed?

First, keep in mind that if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, buyers should stay clear of untrusty websites or social media advertisements.

"Do some research on the companies or the websites,” FBI Special Agent Jeanette Harper said. “Don't follow the links, go to the actual company to see if they're legitimate. Check their reviews to see if they have any shipping returns, that sort of thing.”

Another thing the FBI suggests is purchasing a gift with a credit card, instead of a debit card, cash, Venmo, Zelle or gift card. Purchasing this way will give you more financial protection.

Make sure to check your credit card statement regularly to ensure you have legitimate charges.