Protect yourself from online theft on Cyber Monday

Experts are warning online shoppers that scammers, cyber thieves, and hackers are targeting Cyber Monday shoppers.

As the in store holiday shopping frenzy winds down shoppers are cozying up with their computers, tablets, and phones to get ready for Cyber Monday. Stores have deals that are exclusively online. This means no waiting in lines or crowds, but the better business bureau says you should worry about online scams.

"There are a lot of online scams where they are pretending to be businesses. You order a product because of the sale price offered on their product and you have not ordered that product from the business you think you ordered it from. You'll never receive your product or your money," said Gigi Turner, regional director at the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA.

Last year over 1.5 billion dollars was spent in online shopping on Cyber Monday, and crooks are trying to get their hands on some of that money. She said to avoid clicking on links that are emailed to you.

"If you see something at a known brand place, advertised in your email, don't use your links within the email just go directly to the website and look for the sale that's advertised,"Turner stated. 

Turner advised shoppers not to click on pop-up ads. If pop-up advertising comes across your computer screen, exit out of the window immediately. She also added that you should be sure the webpage URL begins with https:// before you click purchase. This is one way of ensuring that the page is secure.

"Before you make any kind of transaction online especially, verify that what you have received is legitimately from that company," said Turner.

If you are unsure about a company, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. If you're shopping via WIFI, be sure that you're using a secure transaction because public WIFI can be used by anyone.

10 Cyber Monday Online Shopping Security Tips

  1) If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, download and enable Apple's free Find
  My Phone app. You can locate your device on a map, remotely lock it with a
  passcode and erase all the content and settings. Apple released this app
  cause of the high incidents of thefts for its popular devices
  2) Browse but don't shop online from an open Wifi network. The owner or anyone
  connected to the network can "sniff" or read all the information traveling
  through the air. If you do access an open network, make sure you access
  websites with "https:", this means the connection between you and the
  website is secure or VPN to your own network.

  3) Be careful of your friends "Likes" on Facebook. Although Facebook does a
  great job of filtering viruses and scams, beware of your friends "Liked" pages
  touting a free iPhone, HDTV, laptop or diet. Most likely, their account has been
  4) When installing a new App, make sure you're comfortable with the
  information it is asking to access. i.e. address book, location data, usage, etc.
  This information is great for marketers and hackers alike.
  5) Beware of suspicious emails from "UPS", "Fedex", "eBay" etc. Because
  so many people are shopping online, hackers send "notification" emails from
  popular companies asking for credit card information. If the email looks
  suspicious (i.e. you never ordered anything), never click on the links and
  visit the website directly.
  6) Buying a new computer and throwing out the old one? Always make sure to
  securely format the old hard drive to wipe out personal information before

  7) Never email personal financial information. Email is insecure and e-Commerce
  companies will never ask you to do this. When in doubt, call the company

  8) When buying on eBay, always check the seller's history and reputation.
  Sometimes auctions are too good to be true.
  9) When searching in Google, MSN, or Yahoo, don't click on Sponsored Ads that
  start with a retailer name followed by a space and then COM with a different
  url below it. These sponsored ads are typically scams to bring you to another
  website instead of the one you're really looking for.

10) Always pay by credit card and never a debit card. You can always dispute a
  charge with a credit card but once money leaves your account from a debit
  card, it's gone and will not automatically be returned in case of fraudulent