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Today is a big shopping day and here are some tips to help you shop safely on Cyber Monday.

Most of us do our shopping online now. It’s way easier to find deals than bopping from store to store. Things are delivered straight to your door. The list of the perks goes on and on. I’m still an in-store shopper for things like clothes and shoes so I can try them on and lotions/perfume so I can smell them before I buy them. Also, as far as Black Friday shopping goes, you can avoid a fight over a $25 savings on a big screen TV.

If heading out to the stores is still a big part of your Thanksgiving tradition, for others it’s more of a thing of the past. In fact, this year on Black Friday, spending was over $9 billion.

Maybe you woke up to an email from every company you’ve shopped at with their deals of the day. There are already some stores I’ve gotten two from and the day is just beginning.

But the Better Business Bureau is reminding you that online shopping, especially on a big day like Cyber Monday, has risks. Today, the scammers will be in full force online taking advantage of customers shopping for the best deal. I always see ads on Facebook and Instagram for really cute, but really cheap stuff. I started googling to see if they’re legit, and you’d be surprised how many times I find out they’re not. People are getting ripped off all the time, just be diligent.

Tips to Help you Shop Safely on Cyber Monday:

  • Use your Credit Card

    In the instance that any shady charges show up after your purchase, it’s a lot easier to contest them through your credit card company than your bank. Also, never make purchases with online sellers by wiring money or using a prepaid debit card.

  • Shop with Trustworthy Sellers on Secure Sites Only

    Don’t make a purchase from a website you’re not familiar with. If you’re not sure, you can always check their BBB Business Profile, look at ratings and read customer reviews. Also, make sure any web page you make a purchase from is secure by checking that the web address begins with “HTTPS” and not just “HTTP”.

  • Keep your Antivirus Software up to date

    Check to make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer and that it is up to date. This will help prevent you from visiting non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams. It will also help keep your personal information safe.

  • Shop Early

    If there’s something you want, don’t wait until tonight to buy it. If it’s a popular item and the deal is great, it may sell out early.

  • Price Check Before you Buy

    A lot of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading. Make sure you do your homework by comparing prices with websites like CamelCamelCamel. Remember what appears to be the best deal may not actually be.

  • Take Advantage of Rewards and Loyalty Programs

    Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers for Cyber Monday and over the next month. Also, if it’s a place you shop often, sign up for their loyalty program and start accruing points that could save you money down the road.

  • Understand Return Policies

    Read the fine print before you buy. Some online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items. Also, make sure to get gift receipts if it’s for somewhere else, so returns or exchanges can be name if necessary.

  • Watch out for Phishing Scams

    Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. They usually look pretty real and may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring email that doesn’t look quite right or calls from numbers you don’t know.

  • Avoid Shipping Delays with In-Store Pick-Up

    If you shop online today, you should get everything in time for the holidays. But if you don’t want to chance it, buy online and pick up gifts at the store.