Tips to help Cyber Monday shoppers

Published 12:03 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

The weekend is here, and hopefully, you enjoyed some special time with family on Thursday.

For those brave shoppers who ventured out on Thanksgiving night or early in the morning Friday, we hope you were able to secure all the items needed to make this Christmas a special one for you and your family.

Yet, for those Internet experts and bargain shoppers, many think the best sales day still has not arrived.

Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving — is approaching with online retailers offering exclusive promotions.

Shop from the safety of your home. It sounds like a good idea.

Unfortunately, not all advertised deals are what they claim to be, and some websites may be phony or tools for scammers to take advantage, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said.

His office provided a few tips to help shoppers stay safe this holiday season:

• Do not conduct any transaction that involves personal, financial or credit card information while using an open and unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

• Make sure all online purchases are made on a secure website. To confirm a site is secure, check the URL address and make sure there is an “s” in https://. Then, check the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying.

• Purchases made with a credit card provide the most protection. Using a credit card usually allows shoppers to dispute unauthorized charges or charges for items not received.

• In a scam known as “cybersquatting,” crooks steal or slightly alter the website address of a well-known company to launch a copycat site that looks exactly like the real thing.

• Broadly worded promotional offers and advertisements often mislead consumers into paying full price for items they believed were on sale. Carefully examine any and all fine print in the promotional materials, identifying the exact brand and model number on sale.

• Always print and save records of your transactions.