The National Retail Federation reports $62.8 million will be pass hands on Cyber Monday alone. Before logging on to get those great deals, the Better Business Bureau has a few tips so you don’t fall victim of a scam.
Josh Planos is the director of communications for the BBB of Lincoln and Greater Nebraska and tells KLIN News, “Scammers go where they can best take advantage of people which right now is online. Unfortunately we will see an uptick in scams. We have seen more scam activity since the pandemic than we have ever tracked. Naturally we see an increase around the holidays and this is a sign that things are getting worse for people.”
Following these safety tips can help protect you from falling for a scam.
False advertising and phony websites can not only diminish a shopping experience, but also lead to a fraudulent one. If a consumer sees the hot item of the year at an unrealistically low price, that deal is probably too good to be true. Payment for such an item could result in a delivery that ultimately never comes. Be sure the website is legitimate and not a lookalike site. To check, look carefully at the web address. Make sure that it contains the “s” in HTTPS; the “s” stands for secure. Other clues that it may not be a legitimate site include incorrect spelling, and illegitimate contact information and service numbers.
Check any unfamiliar business at bbb.org, where you can find BBB Business Profiles.
Keep antivirus software up to date. This is extra insurance against non-secure sites and pop-up phishing scams. All a scammer needs is someone to click on a link for them to install malware on a device, which allows them to steal personal information.
Take the time to compare online prices. Factor in shipping costs!
Pay with a credit card for easier resolution of potential disputes. Debit cards don’t provide that!
Policies may be different for Cyber Monday bargains, so check return policies for specific items.
Get gift receipts.
Beware of unsolicited emails, texts, calls, and letters touting “great offers.” This is a favorite method of scammers on phishing expeditions.
If you receive a call from a suspected scammer or have been scammed, go to BBB.org/scamtracker and report the incident. If you have questions about businesses you can also check them out at bbb.org or call 1-800-856-2417.