How to avoid scams and shop safe on Cyber Monday

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Monday after Black Friday, known as Cyber Monday, has become one of the top shopping days of the year. With an increased number of people shopping online this holiday season could bring an increase in people falling for scams or being targeted by theives. Holiday […]

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Monday after Black Friday, known as Cyber Monday, has become one of the top shopping days of the year.

With an increased number of people shopping online this holiday season could bring an increase in people falling for scams or being targeted by theives.

Holiday online sales started in October with Amazon Prime Day, and many Black Friday deals have shifted online to reduce in-store crowds. According to a recent Accenture survey, 75 percent of shoppers will be shopping online this year. That’s up 65 percent from last year.

Shoppers need to be on high alert for misleading advertisements, lookalike websites, and untrustworthy sellers, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Here are some tips to follow to help avoid online scams and how to keep your packages safe this holiday season:

Beware of false advertising and phony websites

If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Scammers often make fake, look-alike websites that seem to be the real deal at first glance, but keep an eye on the web address.

Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.

Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only

Check the BBB Business Profile, look at the rating, and read customer reviews.

Also, double check that the website is secure. Secure web addresses begin with HTTPS:// and not just HTTP://. Never put personal or credit card information in forms on non-secure web pages.

Have a plan for when your packages are delivered

Have your packages delivered when someone can physically receive it, rather than having them left on your doorstep. Track the package online and use cameras to know when it’s dropped off.

It’s also a good idea to get insurance for your more valuable packages.

Keep your antivirus software up to date

Double check your antivirus software and make sure it is installed and up to date on your computer or mobile device.

Price check before you buy

Online stores will often claim that they have the best price for an item, but those offers can be misleading. Do your homework and price check products you’re looking to buy.

Remember that the best deal may not be the real deal.

Use your credit card

Credit cards offer more protections for consumers than debit cards.

If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. 

Never make purchases with online sellers that ask for prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.

Watch out for phishing scams

Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information.

Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to avoid falling victim to internet scams.

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