LOS ANGELES - It's the holidays meaning more of us are shopping - specifically shopping online.
Black Monday is now the designated time to get holiday deals online. But with the purchases come the scammers. How do you protect yourself from online scams? A reported 66% of shoppers surveyed by a cyber-security firm said they were concerned about being scammed online.
Here's what you can do:
Don't be the catch of a fishing email, scammers using fake email accounts to get you to click on a link, said Carmen Balber from Consumer Watchdog.
“Those scams increase during the holidays because they are the easiest to fall for. Folks should be extra cautious when clicking on emails,” said Balber.
Research websites for legitimacy, Balber recommended.
“Just do the research to make sure it’s a legitimate site before you give them all of your credit card information,” said Balber.
Make sure it is a credit card you're using.
“Use your credit card because if its stolen your money will be returned to you. Keep extra close watch on your credit cards or your bank if that’s what you are using while you are shopping online during the holidays,” Balber warned.
Beware of the dangers of Wi-Fi!
“I would urge anyone to never purchase things with your credit card on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. best place to buy things is at your home or office where you know your Wi-Fi is protected.”
Be careful about saving all your personal information on your phone.
“Certainly if you’re not protecting your phone with passwords or other security you should not have your credit card number on it,” Balber said.
If you do everything to protect yourself but those persistent scammers hack you, Balber recommends contacting police.
"First order of business is letting your credit card company know then contact the police you have a record of what happened.”
Also, watch out for fake charities. Only donate to charities you know and if you're worried about online scams - only shop on websites you're familiar with.