Avoiding Cyber Monday Scams
Cyber Monday makes it easier to shop for the holidays by avoiding long lines and crazy crowds. Although Cyber Monday is a big hit, it still creates an opportunity for scammers to trick shoppers into releasing their personal information or money. The following tips can help you avoid Cyber Monday scams so you can enjoy all the deals securely:
Use a Credit Card:
Avoid using your own personal debit card; it is highly recommended that you use a credit card instead. According to the U.S Fair Credit Billing Act, most credit cards are protected so that consumers are only responsible for up to $50 in fraudulent charges made on their behalf.
Ensure it’s Secure:
Before you click or before you buy, ensure that you are shopping on a secure website. The same goes for emails; ensure the email address that you are deciding to open and use is a legitimate one. Cyber criminals often use links and photos to ask for personal information.
Diversify your Password:
Having numerous passwords can be a headache, however, using the same password can lead to cybercrime. It is the easiest mistake most consumers make while holiday shopping and can cause you to lose out on money before you get the chance to spend it.
If you aren’t the best at keeping up with multiple passwords, try using a password manager that is available online. This will help keep your information secure and keep your passwords unique and random.
Review Links and Email Addresses:
Before you click or open any emails or links, it is always good to spot-check things before you do. When you are shopping online, it can be easy to click on different websites to see what the best deals are. However, to make sure the websites you visit are legit look for these things:
- Carefully look at the URL and address bar. Most secure websites will always have https with a padlock, although that doesn’t always ensure it is 100% secure.
- Check the company’s contact and social media pages.
Don’t Open Email Attachments and Shipments:
During the holidays it is common that your email will begin to fill up with all kinds of emails from businesses with things such as new arrivals, discounts, and exclusives for those who shop there often. However, with all the chaos of emails and shopping it can be easy to be distracted and to want to open everything you see. This is a very dangerous thing to do because cyber criminals love to impersonate retailers in order to gain all kinds of different information.
If you are waiting on a delivery or if you would like to check to make sure the email is legit without clicking on it, it is best to go directly to the site. For places like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and just about any retailer, you can input your tracking number directly into their system to see live updates on the status of your order.
The best way to avoid the scammers on one of the biggest cyber shopping days of the year is to use your best judgment and be cautious. If it doesn’t seem like it is a legit website or attachment, chances are it probably isn’t.