Protecting against digital shopping scams

A local cyber security expert is weighing in on how to protect yourself while shopping online.

This comes after Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people and seized more than $2 million in a counterfeit property. Deputies say the people were selling the fake goods on an app called “LetGo.”

Tech expert Craig Agranoff is not surprised that the pair was able to pull off such an elaborate scam over an app.

“It’s so easy,” Agranoff said. “You can literally just sign in with your Facebook account, it’ll verify that it’s you, and then you can just post anything. Take a picture of anything in your house and just sell it.”

But in an age where selling online is so easy, it’s become harder than ever to spot the scammers – just ask Michael Klein.

Klein thought he was buying an authentic Louis Vuitton backpack on eBay and says everything checked out including the listing price.

“They said it was an authentic Louis Vuitton backpack,” Klein said. “It was $850. I tried to not go for the cheapest one actually because I didn’t want it to be suspicious.”

Michael Klein thought he was purchasing an authentic designer backpack on eBay, but it turned out to be a scam (CREDIT: MICHAEL KLEIN)

But the transaction was suspicious. The bag turned out to be a fake and though Klein was able to contact the seller and negotiate a refund, not every victim is so lucky.

Agranoff says the best defense against an online hoax is to consider meeting a seller in a safe location where authorities are present to witness the transaction.

“If you want to feel protected on these apps, meet them in the Boca Raton Police lobby,” Agranoff said. “It they want to meet you there to do the transaction, you’re probably going to get a good transaction.”