Consumer News

Avoid Cyber Monday Scams

How to safely take advantage of online deals.

Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 131 million consumers will buy products online today. But scammers have been planning for this day too and see it as an opportunity to phish for bank account or credit card information, infect your computer with Short for “malicious software”; includes viruses and spyware that steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. (See Badware.), or lure you into buying products that never arrive or are worthless.

If you’re planning on getting in on the action, here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Use a credit card rather than a debit card. It’s easier to dispute charges when you use credit.
  2. Shop at trusted online retailers only. Avoid obscure websites.
  3. Make sure you’re on a secure wireless network.
  4. If buying on eBay, Etsy, or other similar sites, check sellers’ ratings and reviews.
  5. When you’re entering payment information, make sure the website URL reads https:// at the beginning. The “s” indicates that the connection is secure.
  6. Don’t click on emails or texts with shortened links because they can be used to take you to malicious websites.
  7. Beware of emails asking you for information to receive supposed deliveries for products you didn’t buy. Call the delivery service, such as UPS, FedEx, or Amazon, directly and see whether there are truly any parcels for you.
  8. Be careful of popup ads that look similar to major retail sites but aren’t.


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