BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While tis the season for holiday online shopping deals, it’s also a time of year when Internet scammers get more active and the FBI Baltimore wants shoppers to be careful.

“It’s very important for consumers to be aware of all the potential frauds and scams that’s as our there,” said Keith Custer, Supervisory Special Agent at FBI Baltimore Field Office.

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Maryland ranked tenth in the nation last year for the number of alleged scam victims. Consumers lost more than $62 million and fraud is becoming more common. So what can you do to avoid becoming a victim of these scams?

Supervisory Special Agent Keith Custer says to be skeptical when shopping online and verify the legitimacy of websites you shop on. “There’s a lot of scammers and a lot of fraudsters out there who are very slick,” he said.

Don’t click on links from unknown sites you don’t recognize. Be cautious of sellers that demand payment in gift cards and use a credit card to dispute purchases if you need to — and stick to sellers you know.

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“There been so much online theft and other forms of online vandalism I only use online services that I’m completely familiar with,” said Richard Foster.

Other tips include avoiding ADs with misspelled words. Be cautious of dealing with sellers from outside the country and look out for extremely low prices.

“If something sounds like it’s too good to be true it probably is,” Custer added.

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Stetson Miller