Cyber Monday: Experts warn of online shopping scams

A survey by a cyber security business reveals 40% of Americans shopping online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year experienced a scam. That is up 3% over the prior year.

NordVPN’s survey also shows a lot of American online shoppers are willing to give out personal details to get better retail deals.

“Almost half of Americans seem to have no fear of potential scams while shopping online — 48% of the respondents are still ready to take advantage of this year’s biggest sales. In the meantime, 35% of Americans reported that they have yet to decide whether to participate in Cyber Monday, Black Friday, or Christmas sales,” the report states.

“The main thing we encourage people to remember this shopping season is if the offer looks too good to be true or a lot of personal information is requested from you to get a deal — you are probably being scammed,” said Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

The National Retail Federation said a record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online for deals during 2022 period of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. The NRF says 130.2 million made online purchases — an increase of 2% from 2021.

“The Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend is a tradition treasured by many American families,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As inflationary pressures persist, consumers have responded by stretching their dollars in any way possible. Retailers have responded accordingly, offering shoppers a season of buying convenience, matching sales and promotions across online and in-store channels to accommodate their customers at each interaction.”

Those shopping online should be weary of “too good to be true” bargains. It is important to recognize the vendor or name of a store before making an online purchase.

Shoppers also should avoid giving out too much personal detail, asking themselves, is my social security number or driver’s license information necessary for this purchase?

This information can be used by criminals, experts say.

Using credit cards over debit cards can also help with security, providing some time to take a look at a credit card statement to ensure the shopper made the purchases listed.

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