Dec. 07, 2020 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is reminding us to protect against common online scams that may increase in frequency this holiday season.

These scams include email and text phishing, in which you are directed to enter personal information on a fraudulent website; deliveries being stolen from your front porch; credit card skimming, particularly at ATMs, gas pumps or other payment kiosks; online pop-up advertisements claiming you’ve won a prize and encouraging you to click a link, which likely contains a virus or will make your device susceptible to being hacked; and online marketplace deals promising access to the latest popular toys and games that are difficult to find.

To protect yourself from scams, consumers should:
  •   Set up email or text alerts with your credit card company or bank, so you will be alerted quickly to all purchases, including fraudulent purchases.
  •   Install the latest security updates and run virus scans regularly on your computer or mobile device.
  •   Never use your home’s smart device, such as Alexa, Siri or Google Home, to find a customer support number for any company, and never have the system dial it for you. Go directly to the company’s website or call the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or the number on your billing statement.
  •   Never pay with a prepaid gift card, CashApp, or Venmo or wire someone money when you’re trying to buy a gift online. Use your credit card, not a debit card, for better protection.

Anyone who believes they may have been scammed should file a police report and a complaint with the Office of Attorney General at

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717-260-6136 /