BBB warns: watch for Cyber Monday scams

Nov 26, 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, the day analysts believe will be the busiest online shopping day of the year.  Over $1 billion in online sales are expected as workers return to their computers from the long holiday weekend.

While most online retail outlets will offer discounts to spark business, authorities are warning of the presence of scammers seeking to steal personal information. Basic precautions should be taken, including updating computes  with spam filters and anti-virus software.

Peggy Penders of the Better Business Bureau says shoppers should be aware of offers that sound too good to be true

"It's the brands that we're familiar with, that we may find a great deal or a price that really is attractive, that we may take that risk because we want that brand. Electronics is certainly one of these areas where scammers really want to lure you in with a great price. So you really have to check out all the details before you give away any... of your personal information," Penders told WBFO News.

Penders says shoppers need to carefully examine websites before purchasing.  She suggests consumers examine unfamiliar retail websites before making purchases. That includes looking at the contact us portion of the website and reading terms and conditions associated with the site.

"You have to look for encrypted codes. One of the ways to determine that is by looking for an "s" in the URL.  So it's "https." It's going to tell you that is a secure site," said Penders.

Penders also warns against directly clicking on e-mails offering bargains. Instead, she suggests calling up the website separately on your web browser.