(COLORADO) — Cyber Monday is upon us and multiple agencies have tips to help prevent getting taken advantage of during all that holiday shopping.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) tweeted out: #CyberMonday2022 is almost here! Before you shop, keep in mind these online shopping safety tips! If an online scam costs you money, report it to http://ftc.gov as well as to your local law enforcement agency.”
Here are those Federal Trade Commission tips:
- Learn about the sellers and products. Check out the company before you buy; search the name plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what others are saying.
- Read reviews with a critical eye. Expert reviews from trusted sites are a good place to start. Focus on sites that you know are credible and that offer impartial reviews from real experts.
- Comparison shopping. Before you comparison shop for a product, note the item’s manufacturer and model #. Ensure the comparison website is impartial and not just a front for that item’s maker.
- Shop securely. Shop from secure websites (typically those whose URL begins with “HTTPS” versus “HTTP”; use a credit card versus a debit card, one that’s not linked to your bank account.
- Keep records of what you purchase. Make note of the URL, company name, what you ordered and when, and what you paid. Screenshot return policies, shipping info, and keep all email or text correspondence related to the purchase.
The Better Business Bureau has additional tips to keep in mind too:
- Beware of false advertising and phony websites. If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date. Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams and help keep your personal information safe.
- Price check before you buy. Dozens of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading. Do your homework by comparing prices. Remember that the best deal may not be the real deal.
- Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs. Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers that could add up on Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays. Make purchases using loyalty programs; many major retailers offer them.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Busy schedules and increased purchases make it easier to miss – and fall victim to – a phishing scam. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages 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 suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.