Making Online Shopping Safe, Successful This Holiday Season - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Making Online Shopping Safe, Successful This Holiday Season

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SALISBURY, Md. - Cyber Monday kicked off the start of this week, meaning the shopping season is now in full swing. And the stakes are high for folks looking for deals online, in more ways than one.

"I feel like I'm tricked I'm not going to lie, I feel like they trick me," said Brittany Roof, an avid online shopper.

She may feel tricked into great deals found at every click on items priced to move, but how do savvy shoppers spot a fake?

"If the website looks a little suspicious ... things like misspellings or an amateur looking web site, the shopper should be very suspicious and very careful," said Tylor Claggett, professor of finance at Salisbury University.

According to the Digital Citizens Alliance, more than 80 percent of people verify they're using a secure website - marked by things like "https" in address bars. But that number drops to 60 percent for young adults 18 to 24.

But, even if the site checks out and you do find the deal of your dreams - the purchase could be a nightmare.

"Avoid the Starbucks wifi if it's free," said Claggett, referring public Internet access. "That type of shopping is more vulnerable because there's more users and more access," said Claggett.

That's a prime opportunity for thieves to collect transaction details that could lead right to your bank account.

"Be real cognizant of what's going on with your bills," said Sgt. David Owens of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office.

He urges the public to report suspicious activity immediately.

"When we do see credit card thefts, we have more success when we're able to get on them early," he adds.

He adds one more bit of advice as shoppers opt for finding discounts online - instead of standing in line.

"If it's too good to be true then it probably really is too good to be true."

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