Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, are the most popular holiday shopping days of the year. Whether heading to the local malls or shopping online to avoid the large crowds, the Better Business Bureau warns buyers to be aware of scammers and hackers.
"People get caught up in the craze of holiday shopping," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "Whether it is Black Friday or Cyber Monday it is important to take precautions to ensure that scammers do not ruin the holidays."
Tips for Black Friday shoppers:
Online shopping tips for Cyber Monday:
Confirm that your online purchase is secure - Shoppers should always look in the address box for the "s" in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the "lock" symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, the BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select "Properties." This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal whether the site is not encrypted.
Don't forget those less fortunate this holiday season. If deciding to donate an item to a charity or cause, make sure items are in good condition and the recipient organization accepts such items to help further its cause. Find all charities that meet BBB standards atwww.bbb.org/charity.
For more advice on staying safe online this holiday season, visit www.bbb.org.