cyber_mondayIt’s Cyber Monday and everyone is heading online for great prices on Christmas items.  So, if you didn’t camp out at the stores and get what you wanted on Black Friday, don’t worry!  Just head to your computer where you still can scoop up hot items at unbelievable prices.  Every major retailer is having a Cyber Monday sale but be wary, the scammers are out there trying to get your money, too.  So, here are a few tips on how not to get scammed today:

  1. Do NOT click on a link sent to you via email to BUY an item.  This is called “phishing”.  That link will take you to a phony site where you’ll enter your credit card information.  You will definitely get billed but you won’t get anything in the mail.   If something is being advertised via an email, it should refer you to the official site where you can buy online.  If you want to get jeans from Old Navy, then go directly to oldnavy.com and buy from there.  NEVER click on links that are sent to you via email.  They are almost always viruses, worms and other bad things that will steal your money or blow up your computer.
  2. For those wary about entering in your credit card information online, make sure there’s an image of a lock in the URL bar (where you enter the www address of the website you want to view).  The lock means that website is secure.  Also, make sure there’s an “s” after the “http” in the address, signifying a secure site that is encrypted.  Also, many retailers allow customers to pay online via PayPal or have a pay when you “pick up in store” option.  Use these options if you are hesitant about online credit card purchases.
  3. Most importantly, plan what you are going to buy on Cyber Monday in advance.  Most retailers will advertise what their Cyber Monday sales will be in advance.  This allows you time to check multiple retailers and see where you can get the best bang for your buck.  Also, recognize that Cyber Monday starts at midnight.  Don’t wait until 9:00a.m. to get that $79 laptop because they might be sold out by then.  So, do your homework ahead of time, plan and make an informed purchase.

Now that you’ve got the information to keep you safe online, what are you waiting for?  Happy Cyber Monday shopping!  Let me know what you picked up.  I’m always on the look out of a bargain!