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posted: 11/25/2012 6:19 PM

FBI warns of Cyber Monday scams

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If last Wednesday was the biggest travel day of the year and Friday was the biggest shopping day of the year, then today is the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Authorities are warning consumers to take extra precautions today, also known as Cyber Monday, as well as the rest of the holiday season when buying gifts online.

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The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center offers several tips on how to protect yourself from getting scammed.

The top piece of advice is pretty timeless: If it's too good to be true, then it probably is.

Here are some other tips:

• Beware of new products or gift cards being sold on auction or classified advertisement websites where the price is significantly lower than any sale price in traditional retail outlets

• Steer clear of "One day only" websites featuring the sale of specific items that are in high demand

• Be on the lookout for, and beware of, phishing and scam emails, text messages, or phone calls that look or sound like they're coming from a well-known retailer and that ask to verify a credit card number or to update personal account information

• Do not fall for gift card offers on social media sites that are supposedly from a major retailer. These offers often are used to gain access to social media accounts and personal information.

Happy, safe shopping.

Kudos to Aurora clerks:

They may not be on the streets busting gang members and drug dealers, but two clerks in the Aurora Police Department's Records Division recently netted the October "Employee of the Month" honors.

Cheryl Joyce and Tammy Renaud were honored for their actions Oct. 3 when they helped a 19-year-old cadet who was choking on a piece of food.

As she was about to leave work for the day, Joyce spotted the cadet who looked disoriented as he got out of his vehicle. Joyce walked toward him to see if he needed help and realized the cadet was choking, so she yelled to Renaud for a hand.

Renaud got behind the cadet and administered the Heimlich maneuver. The cadet also was treated on-scene by Aurora Fire Department paramedics and did not need to be taken to a hospital.

"Cheryl and Tammy are to be commended for their quick thinking which quite possibly saved the life of the cadet," said Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas in a statement. "This episode also reinforces the effectiveness of the Heimlich maneuver as both of these ladies are around five feet tall while the cadet they saved is over six feet. It is important that everyone have basic skills relating to the Heimlich and CPR because none of us ever know when we will find ourselves in a position to save a life."

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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