Billions of dollars in products will be bought online this Cyber Monday. But those deals are sometimes too good to be true.
Clever marketing can disguise a major steal as a deal for cyber shoppers. Attorney General Jim Hood says holidays are prime time for scammers.
"They're out there just hoping that you'll make a mistake," said Hood. In other words, that you'll type in one letter off of some legitimate business and wind up on a site and give your personal information."
Cyber Monday is an alternative to long Black Friday lines. Still, it could leave you seeing red with your bank account. The Better Business Bureau gets a flood of complaints after every holiday season.
"I didn't get what I wanted. We had a lot of people who didn't get anything and then they were chasing the money down, " said Mississippi BBB President and CEO John O'Hara.
There's a consumer protection division at the Attorney General's office. Hood says it's not always enough to get the cash back to shoppers.
"Most of the time when people lose their money through some scam or something on the Internet, it's just gone," Hood explained.
Other times, you'll get the products, but they won't be the real deal. Hood says many of the counterfeit operations and fake sites are operating overseas.
"You don't want to be contributing to a terrorist organization in buying some counterfeit items, you don't want to hurt our American companies," said Hood. "You certainly don't want to hurt you or your family by buying some product that may do damage or cause a fire in your home."
Both Hood and the BBB say your method of payment can make a difference when shopping on the web.
"You really want to make sure that you're not doing the money gram cards over the Internet. Because what happens, it's like wiring money," O'Hara described.
It's best to use a credit card because the company can help to flag and track any problems.
There's an email trend that sends out a tracking number for your online purchase. But when you click on it, it's just a virus. Just another reason for buyers to beware online.
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