BOISE, Idaho — With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, you might be planning trips to your favorite stores, but be aware--scammers are also planning out ways to steal your money or information.
Many retailers are already offering deals ahead of the Thanksgiving and Black Friday holidays. E-marketer forecasts predict holiday spending will total over $1 trillion, with Cyber Monday contributing $10 billion to the number. The Better Business Bureau is asking all consumers to think about where to click and where not to as they start their online shopping. Scammers can use misleading advertisements and look alike websites that can put your personal financial and personal information at risk.
BBB suggests keeping your antivirus software up-to-date. Those updates are a great way to protect yourself as you roam the internet in search of the perfect gift. The software will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams and help your personal information stay safe and avoid ransomware. If you're shopping on your phone, there are security apps that can increase protection and provide antivirus defense.
When online shopping, it's always best to use your credit card versus a debit card. If any fraudulent charges appear later, you can contest them with your credit card company. While some debit cards offer similar protection, the work on your end will be much greater.
BBB also adds you should read return policies thoroughly to understand how to return items you've purchased online and what the cost will be for you, if any. Before you buy anything, make sure to do your research on the company you're buying from, and learn their reputation before hitting "check out."
For more on scams to watch for and other resources, check out the BBB website.