Shop Safe on Cyber Monday

ByABC News via logo
November 27, 2006, 8:05 AM

Nov. 27, 2006 — -- Approximately 58 million shoppers wrestled their way into stores on Black Friday, giving retailers a $9 billion boost.

Today, online retailers say it's their turn.

"They call it 'Cyber Monday' because folks go back to work," said ABC News technology contributor Becky Worley. "They have the high-speed connections, and they dive into the shopping sites."

According to a survey by the National Retail Foundation, 61 million people are expected to shop online at work this holiday season, up 18 percent from last year.

As the popularity of Internet shopping grows so do the dangers.

"During the holiday season, people let their guard down. Scammers are jumping on the opportunity. You need to be extra vigilant this time of year," Worley said.

Shoppers have become so comfortable sharing their personal information and credit card numbers online, they now run the risk of passing that data along to online predators.

Two recent studies suggest that about one in 10 online shoppers are expected to become victims of fraud this holiday season.

Almost 40 percent of this year's identity theft will happen between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31.

Regina Lewis, an AOL consumer adviser, visited "Good Morning America" to share tips on how consumers could buy online and stay safe.

Scammers are sending out mass e-mails that you may get in your inbox, saying there's been a problem with your order.

Don't take the bait. A real online retailer would never ask you to send information through an e-mail.

It would tell you to go to its Web site and update your account information there.

Don't buy with a debit card; credit cards offer more protection.

If there's an issue, such as gifts getting damaged in shipping, the credit card company will be tied up while things are reconciled.

Your bank account won't be affected, as it would be if you had used a debit card.

Before putting in any credit card information, look at the address bar and make sure it reads "https," instead of just "http."

The extra "s" stands for secure. When you see the "s," you know that the site is secure and that your credit card information is on a secure server.