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Officials outline dangers of Internet shopping

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

There's one constant in this era of high-tech, instantaneous, credit card shopping: thieves are looking to steal your money and your identity.

"Remember. If the price is too good to be true. It probably is," said James Spero, the special agent in charge for ICE and Homeland Security Investigations.

Spero was speaking at a news conference in the office of U.S. Attorney William Hochul featuring name-brand merchandise seized locally recently by investigators, ranging from male enhancement drugs to fancy purses.

They are all fake but with the labels of real retailers.

There is also the problem of fake websites, with names nearly those of real sites. Hochul says be careful of broad searches.

"When shopping online, keep in mind, that home is more than where the heart is. It's often better to use a home computer than a personal cell-phone for just one example. Home computers are more likely to have the latest in anti-virus and anti-spam filters on them," Hochul said.

The advice: be careful, whether shopping down the block or on the Web.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.