With more than 30 percent of people looking to score a great deal online, this Cyber Monday also has scammers hoping to cash in on your oversight.
The Better Business Bureau’s Jim Hegarty said Cyber Monday can be a great time to save some cash while buying presents for loved ones. But if you don’t shop smart, you’re likely to get into some trouble.
First, Hegarty said you should always use a credit card when making purchases online because those have better protection that a debit card. If possible, use the same credit card online for all purchases. If your online profile is compromised you’re only canceling one card instead of many.
Once you make your purchases, check your credit card statements for any smaller purchases that hackers might be trying to sneak by you.
If possible, use a prepaid card or a gift card to make purchases. It will help you set a budget and won’t hurt as badly if you do become a victim.
When shopping, Hegarty suggests looking at sites you know and trust. Big retailers generally have a good track record.
If you’re buying on a computer, experts suggest purchasing on a private computer rather than a public one. If you forget to log out or have automatic log on turned on others could access your information after you leave.
It’s also a good idea to have different user names and passwords for your online shopping. If someone is able to learn your account information they won’t be able to also log in to your bank account.
If purchasing on a phone or tablet, use the retailer’s app for added protection.
When you go to make purchases, look for signs that the site is secure. That can be through either a lock icon next to the URL or at the start of the URL you may see HTTPS. That S on the end stands for secure and means they’re encrypting your data to keep it safe.
During Cyber Monday shopping some ads are disguised to look like great deals, but may actually be malware. Before you click on anything, make sure you have some sort of anti-virus software on your computer.
If you didn’t ask for the deal in your emails or text messages, it may be too go to be true. Don’t click on any links or open any attachments that seem suspicious.
Once you make your purchase, request any larger, more expensive items be delivered with a required signature. Or, many stores offer to have the item shipped to them for pick up rather than to you at home.
And now that you’ve made such a great purchase, don’t post on social media about what you bought. You’re inviting thieves to come check it all out.
As far as checking on deals themselves, price checker sites like Camel Camel Camel can track prices of items to see if you’re truly getting a deal or if it’s just advertised as one.
If a company tries to tell you that a deal is only for a short period of time, don’t be intimidated. Still take a few minutes to shop around to see if you can find the deal elsewhere.
And always research every purchase to ensure you’re getting what you actually wanted.
If you do experience any issues, contact the Better Business Bureau.