LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Cyber Monday is here, but buyer beware. Online scammers are always standing by to steal your money. It's expected to be the biggest Cyber Monday in US history, which means lots of deals but also lots of scams.
Jenny Coy has been scammed out of her purchases online one too many times. "My husband ordered some Ugg boots and it was some bizarre website but we never got the boots and never got our money back or anything," said Coy.
Jenny is one of the thousands of people who have fallen victim to online scams. South Plains BBB President, Nan Campbell, says its a fast way for thieves to steal your money. "It can happen with just the click of a button -- in one second you've given some criminal all of your information," Campbell said.
Last year more than 96.5 million people shopped online and the National Retail Federation says this year more than 100 million people will shop on Cyber Monday.
CoNetrix Chief Operations Officer, Russ Horn says there are several ways to protect yourself from becoming the next victim of a scam.
"You know if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you are buying from a secure site. Look for the HTTPS:// in the address bar. If it's a secure site it will have an S and you should never put in your information on a site that doesn't have the S at the end," Horn said.
"Also, make sure that the little lock on the bottom of your browser is locked that gives you some protection as well, letting you know the website is secure," Campbell said.
Nan Campbell said there is a new scam called "phishing" that is apparent right now. "A phishing email is an email that for example, looks like it's from Amazon but it's not. It's someone else trying to get your username and password so they can compromise your account," Horn said.
"30% of people use the same password for Facebook as they do on other sites. So don't do that because scam artists can assume where you do your banking and then use your passwords there," Horn said.
The BBB says it's also a bad idea to use a debit card when shopping online. "Use your credit card rather than any other way because the credit card companies offer another layer of protection."
According to the Wall Street Journal, federal authorities seized 82 Internet websites on "Cyber Monday." The federal officials are quoted as saying the websites were used to distribute counterfeit products.
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