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Consumer Warning: Beware Online Shopping Scams

***CONSUMER WARNING***

Millions of Americans are hitting the web right now to take advantage of Cyber Monday, when online retailers kick off the holiday shopping season by offering deep deals, discounts and promotions. But before you surf and shop this month, you better be savvy because online scams are expected to surge during the holidays.

Beware of crooks launching ‘phishing’ attacks like trying to get passwords and credit-card numbers through emails and fake web sites. In order to protect yourself while you hunt for bargains, stay away from big discounts being offered by online retailers you’re not familiar with. Also, use multiple passwords and change them frequently, and make sure that the URL on the checkout page reads ‘HTTPS’ and not just ‘HTTP,’ which signifies that you’re on a secure server. You can add an extra layer of protection by using just a single credit card for all your online purchases.