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Note: This excerpt is from an article that CNN.com published.
The winter holiday season is upon us, which means many things.
It means around-the-clock holiday music, blinking lights and decorations, and presents. If you've been good, lots of them.
Unfortunately, it is also the season for highly sophisticated crooks trying to pass off counterfeit goods as the real thing. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
First, the good news. According to estimates from the National Retail Foundation, sales in November and December are expected to reach $630.5 billion, with as much as $105 billion coming from online sales, representing an increase of between 6% and 8% over last year's online sales figures.
Given the amount of money at stake, we should not be too surprised consumers are increasingly running into criminals trying to dupe them online and sell them counterfeit merchandise, or worse, steal their identity or their credit information.
Read more on CNN.com.