Protect yourself and your bank account during Cyber Monday

It's predicted U.S. shoppers will spend more than $7 billion this year on Cyber Monday.

Posted: Nov. 23, 2018 5:37 PM
Updated: Nov. 23, 2018 6:30 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - In 2017, $6.59 billion dollars were spent on Cyber Monday. That's $1.56 billion more than 2017 Black Friday revenue. This is according to an Adobe Analytics reportWith an increase of sales means an increase in the risk of getting scammed online.

It's predicted U.S. shoppers will spend more than $7 billion this year on Cyber Monday.

"One of the big concerns for Cyber Monday, or any online shopping is fraud," said Eugene Spafford. He is a cyber security professor at Purdue. He's been studying this area for 40 years.

He said the biggest problems come through emails or ads online.

"People click on it, it may be taking them to something that looks like a real merchant, but isn't," he said.

Scammers often hide behind the screen with the disguise of a big-name, trusted retailer, such as Best Buy or Target. Spafford has a tip to know if it's real or not.

"Look at the URL that's listed and they should probably manually type it into their browser rather than just clicking on the ad," he suggests.

Some scams may ask for personal information. If you come across this, think twice.

"Spend a little extra time and think about do you really need to give up all the information that you are?" he said.

According to Statistica.com, a consumer research site, internet scamming is on the rise. The United States has seen more than 30,000 scams this year as of mid-August.

And it's not just a national problem. Scammers all over the world have the ability to target consumers, according to Spafford. He said bringing scamming to an international scale through the internet makes it harder to track down and punish the bad guys.

Social media can be especially deceiving for shoppers.

"It's particularly a problem if you have a friend who has seen it and doesn't know its true and has reposted it, you're more likely to believe it, you're more likely to click on it, and therefore, you're more likely to get into trouble," he said.

Also think about what kind of card you are paying with.

"Probably safer using a credit card if you have a choice, federal law protects you when you use a credit card," he said.

Because no one wants to have to deal with the problems scammers create during the holidays.

"This is a big drain on all of us so I would just say being a good neighbor, helping to protect yourself against crime is being aware of the basics."

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