TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) For the first time, U.S. holiday retail sales are expected to surpass $1 trillion for 2019, an increase of more than 3 percent from 2018. While the majority of those sales are conducted through brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce is representing a growing share of sales each year during the holiday season. And busiest and biggest online shopping day of the year is upon us, Cyber Monday. This year, sales totals on Cyber Monday are expected to reach up to if not more than $10 billion. While online shoppers will undoubtedly head to the computer screens, phones, and tablets to browse online stores in order to capitalize on Cyber Monday discounts, scammers and online bad actors are laying in wait to capitalize on unsuspecting consumers.
Photo: Ed Clemente / MGN
"Scammers and con artist know people are out there online shopping," Eastern Idaho Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureau Jeremy Johnson says.
The Better Business Bureau and Johnson are informing consumers steps to take in order to ensure they have an enjoyable and secure experience shopping on Cyber Monday.
Among those, is to be on the lookout for fake websites, created to impersonate authentic online stores when in reality their sites created to lure you in, only to steal your money and information.
"They're luring them into sites that they can put their personal or financial information in, and the product that they're ordering doesn't actually come," Johnson says.
One of the easiest steps to take is to ensure your using a secure site by making sure the spelling of the website is correct, and not visiting online stores through pop-up ads or email links. You can also make sure your using a secure site by verifying the web address begins with HTTPs://. If the address begins with just HTTP://, you're not using a secure site.
Johnson and the bureau also recommend using a credit card, rather than a debit card for online shopping.
"The credit card gives you just a little more protection credit card companies can work with you a little bit more," Johnson says.
Among everything, Johnson says it's important consumers do their research ahead making purchases on Cyber Monday.
"Do that research so you can feel confident about your purchases and make sure your personal and financial information is protected," Johnson says.
For more information from the Better Business Bureau on best practices to take when online shopping on Cyber Monday, visit here