AG’s Cyber Monday shopping tips can be useful year-round

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – On Cyber Monday, 2017, retailers have predicted online shoppers, for the first time ever, will be using mobile devices–their smart phones and tablets–more than their desk top personal computers. That could expose cyber shoppers to a unique set of risks for getting their personal security compromised by hackers.

As more shoppers turn to their mobile devices to conduct business, or to buy gifts for the holidays, their online security is not as much at risk as someone hacking into the transactions themselves to steal their identity, or even steal their money.

Assistant New York Attorney General Jim Morrissey said, “most people will be doing it on Wi-Fi networks. Just make sure that Wi-Fi network is secure.”

Morrissey also points out, consumers tend to be save their passwords on mobile devices because it would be hard to carry around a list of passwords for each transaction, and Morrissey advises online consumers to make sure you are actually on the website you think you are on.

“If you are going to Best Buy, make sure it says, ‘Best Buy’ not ‘Best Buys’. Check that URL very, very carefully because there are a lot of scam artists there that will try to closely copy a legitimate Internet site using a phony URL.”

Online bargain hunters also have to be smart, said Morrissey–just because it is Cyber Monday does not mean a retailer is really giving you a great deal.

“I have gone to auction sites–so called auction sites–and you think you are getting stuff at a rock bottom price there, and I priced out items and then gone to a retail site, and actually seen the item cheaper at a retail site.”

If you have a choice between using a debit card or credit card Morrissey said a credit card offers better protection against a scam or getting stuck with defective merchandise, ”and for some reason the Internet retailer won’t take it back. You can contest that, if you put it on your credit card.”

Generally speaking, banks will make an effort to recover your money if you can show them, conclusively, you have been scammed, but when you use a debit card, Morrissey said they don’t have a legal obligation to get your money back.

You can find New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s full list of Cyber Monday safe shopping tips here.

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