Cyber crooks ready to prey on Cyber Monday shoppers

Dick Uliano,

WASHINGTON – Retail analysts expect online discounts and bargains will spur $1.5 billion in online sales this Cyber Monday.

But while shoppers are busy online, cyber security specialists say cyber criminals will be busy, too, looking for a piece of the action.

To help consumers avoid getting ripped off online, the Better Business Bureau recommends a few precautions to guard against hackers and scammers.

First on the list is shopping on trustworthy websites. It is never a good idea to aimlessly click on links that can take customers to unscrupulous sites, where hackers are hoping to steal personal information.

The security of an online purchase can be confirmed by looking in the address box for the letter “s,” for secure, following the http at the beginning of a website address – https://. A lock symbol should also be displayed in the lower right corner of the address box.

In addition, the Better Business Bureau suggests that online shoppers should protect their personal information by reading a site’s privacy policy.

As always, shoppers should beware of deals that seem to good to be true, especially if the offer comes in an unsolicited e-mail.

Finally, it is best to make purchases with a credit card. Under federal law, consumers can dispute credit card charges if they are not satisfied with their purchases.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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