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Cyber Monday expected to be one of the biggest for scams

Posted: 6:31 AM, Nov 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-26 11:46:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s Cyber Monday and the deals are plentiful. While the deals are good, this Cyber Monday is expected to be on the highest for scams as well. 

While you're searching around on the internet, those deals will look enticing. While many of those deals are legitimate, there are many scammers out there trying to get you to enter your personal information and your credit card numbers. 

Fake pop-up websites will be popping up throughout the weekend. They’re there for a short time, scamming unsuspecting buyers and then they’re gone.

Cybercriminals create fake mobile apps and landing pages with realistic branding, especially around major holidays and events like Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to a report from cybersecurity company RiskIQ. They want to convince consumers to download bad apps or visit bogus sites and ultimately "phish" for sensitive data.

Consumers are especially vulnerable when shopping on smartphones. 

Mobile browsers have a much shorter address field, and consumers may not see the full URL on their phone. This makes it harder to spot a scam.

Steve Ginty, senior product manager at RiskIQ, says to check that the website has a valid "HTTPS" connection with a lock symbol, not "HTTP," which is vulnerable to attacks.

So what should you do to protect yourself? The Better Business Bureau suggests the following: 

  • Parental control. There is software you can install on your kids’ and teens’ computers and mobile devices to limit the websites they can access. This is something to consider for retail websites the younger shoppers in your household may access.
  • Hackers like kids IDs. Since kids and teens have not established a credit history or have no blemishes on their credit report, hackers are always on the lookout for their information. Hackers can obtain credit cards, loans and more in your child’s name. Talk to your family about the importance of not giving out personal information in soliciting emails or on social media.
  • Email phishing. Teach your teens and young adults about how to catch phishing emails.
  • Looking out for scams. People tend to shop based on what peers and celebrities are wearing or using. Scammers will try to lure them to click on links such as “free Kylie products,” “free concerts,” “free games” and more. If it seems too good to be true, do not click.
  • HTTP and HTTPS. Before sending any personal and sensitive information over the Internet, make sure the website has “https://” at the beginning of its web address. The “S” at the end of HTTPS indicates that the website is secure and your information is encrypted, which makes it safe to enter credit card number or other personal information.

Before you enter your credit card information, make sure you’re actually at a legitimate online store. Experts say stick to the big-name sites that you’re familiar with. 

Experts also say to use a credit card, instead of a debit card or bank account. That way, if you get scammed, you can report the charge as fraudulent. 

If something looks off or fishy, don’t enter any personal information on the site. it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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