Cyber Monday is just around the corner. Spending is expected to reach 3 billion dollars. You know with numbers like those the bad guys will be out in full force as well. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while scooping up those bargains.
-Beware of social media scams, especially Facebook. Scammers are using fake or hacked Facebook accounts to post links to shopping deals that don’t exist. Recently fake post offering free wine and cruises have been discovered.
-Go directly to store’s website instead of using search engines (Google, yahoo etc.) to look for deals. If you do find a deal doing a search, search again placing the exact name of the deal in quotes. That way you can find out if there are any warnings out there.
-Be extra cautious with pop-ups and those digital ads usually on the right side of web page. These could contain fake coupons or redirect you to malicious web sites.
-Delete Cyber Monday emails that contain attachments especially zip files. If you receive an email offering a deal go directly to the stores website instead of using the link in email.
-Look for the padlock in the address bar of your browser to ensure you are using a secure connection. This means the connection between you and the store is private. Also the web address should start with “https://” not http://
-Try to use Credit Cards instead of Debit Cards when possible as Debit Cards provide direct access to your bank account.
-Avoid using public wifi to shop(Starbucks and the like) These networks are not secure.
-Watch out for fake QRC codes . Although some contain addition product information and links to coupons others are printed by scammers and placed over the original.
-If a site starts asking for out of the ordinary information like society security numbers or security questions – Leave.
-As usual make sure your browser, operating system (Window and Apple), anti-virus and applications are all up to date.
NOTE. There are “ad-blocker” apps for Android, Apple and PC that can help filter through some of the clutter.