Avoid scams this Cyber Monday

BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. - Black Friday is over, but the holiday shopping frenzy has just begun. Monday was 'Cyber Monday' and millions of Americans are turning to the web to get gifts to put under the tree, and brick-and-mortar stores are taking a back seat.

"My plan is to go home and see what other deals I can find on the computer and see what grabs my interest," said online shopper Angela Smith on Monday afternoon.

"I've been seeing a lot with Old Navy for the baby clothes, and then I saw a lot for for my father-in-law," Victoria Rodda, another online shopper told News 5.

Before you commit to an online gift, experts tell us you need to know the facts.

News 5 spoke with Kevin Trivett, Chief Operating Officer at CityMac in Bristol. He told us, first and foremost, know who you're shopping with. "Don't go to a site that you're not familiar with. Don't use 'Joe Bob's back door garage sale' website. You always want to make sure it's someone reputable," said Trivett.

He also said while public computers should never be used to do online shopping, public wi-fi is generally safe when it comes to your personal information. However, wherever you are and whenever you pay or fill out any online forms, always look for the 'https' in your address bar. "The 's' of course means secure, so you can feel certain your information is safe," Trivett explained.

When shopping on your smartphone, also use the same kind of safety measures. "Phones are just like computers. They offer security just like a computer does. Just be responsible," said Trivett.

When that gift is safe, shipped, and snug under the tree, it's a job well done for shoppers looking for that extra bit of convenience.

"I think for guys, it's the perfect kind of shopping," said Ryan LeStrange, an online shopper. "You go, you get what you want, you know there's no pressure. You're doing it from the comfort of your home," he added.

This time of year also beware of phishing emails sent to your computer. Lots of them could look like stores trying to offer you a deal, but experts told us, email is not always secure, so you should never give out your personal or credit card information.

Most Popular